Bethany Palkovitz

PhD, Art History, Nuu-chah-nulth
Headshot of Bethany Palkovitz


My current work examines the historical context and contemporary revitalization of Coast Salish woven textiles around x̌ʷəlč, the saltwater body known to many today as Puget Sound.  My art historical focus on these weavings incorporates Lushootseed language learning and employs an Indigenous Borderlands theoretical framework to consider the movements and meaning of these artworks around the Salish Sea. Learning Nuu-Chah-Nulth as a FLAS fellow will expand and deepen my knowledge of Wakashan languages and lifeways, and will be valuable in my work as I seek to research attribution of artworks and repatriate/rematriate the belongings of peoples on the Northwest Coast held in museum collections near and far.

Bethany Palkovitz is an art historian whose work examines the intersections of Indigenous art, material culture, and traditional knowledge with colonial practices of scientific exploration, illustration, and collection/extraction in Turtle Island/North America.  Palkovitz is a graduate student at the University of Washington Seattle, and their current research on Coast Salish mountain goat and wooly dog textiles is supported by the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Native Art at the Burke Museum.  While at UW, Palkovitz was a selected participant in the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies 2022 Summer Institute “Land, Water, and the Indigenous Archive: Art and Activism in the Mississippi River Network” at the Newberry Library.  Prior to graduate school, Palkovitz held a curatorial assistant appointment at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.