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Shared Visions. Chapters 1-4. Early Narrative Genre Painting. Early 20th century Native narrative painting consists largely of genre scenes and images of ceremonial life.

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Shared Visions

Chapters 1-4


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Early Narrative Genre Painting

  • Early 20th century Native narrative painting consists largely of genre scenes and images of ceremonial life.

  • The impact of non-Native cultures on Native life ways (as a result of removal, reservation and assimilation policies) is a prominent theme in these works.

Indians Fighting White Man, Carl Sweezy


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Early Narrative Genre Painting

  • The transition to modern narrative painting began with ledger drawings.

  • In style, the ledger drawings resemble buffalo hide painting: space is flat rather than perspective, forms are drawn in outline and colored in, there is no shading or modeling.

Howling Wolf


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Early Narrative Genre Painting

  • By the turn of the century, a complex blending of Native and non-Native cultures existed on Indian reservations.

  • Narrative paintings were an important means of self-definition.

Shawnee War Dance,

Ernest Spybuck

Shawnee Home About 1890,

Ernest Spybuck


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San Ildefonso Watercolor Movement

  • The watercolor movement is the most important Indian art movement of the early 20th century.

  • It developed at the Pueblo of San Ildefonso in New Mexico and from its inception, Euro-American patrons played a major role.

Taos Dancers, Cresencio Martinez

Mountain Sheep Dance,

Cresencio Martinez


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San Ildefonso Watercolor Movement

  • Early paintings by the Native American watercolor movement may have been so popular because they depicted traditional Pueblo culture in a manner which avoided political controversy.

  • These works are ethnographic, anecdotal and aesthetic representations which recalled a time prior to U.S. intervention in Native affairs.

Eagle Dance, Alfonso Roybal


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Pottery Design, Julian Martinez

Untitled, Tonita Pena

Untitled, Romando Vigil


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Painting in the Southwest

  • In the 1920s, concern over federal treatment of Native Americans and conditions of life on Indian reservations began to arise in the United States.

  • In 1926 a comprehensive review of federal policy was undertaken and the 800-page report stated that Indians were living in deplorable conditions of stark poverty, ill-health and malnourishment.

Zuni Corn Dance,

Fred Kabotie


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Painting in the Southwest

  • The Meriam Report and the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act had direct consequences for Native artists.

  • Dorothy Dunn established studio classes in painting at the Santa Fe Indian School in 1932 where she advocated a balance of Native tradition and modern innovation.

Green Corn Dancer, Otis Polelonema


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Painting in the Southwest

  • Dunn taught at The Studio from 1932 to 1937 and was an extremely important influence on an entire generation of Native American artists.

  • Traditional Indian Painting became the definitive style.

Sikyahote Katsina,

Waldo Mootzka


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Painting in the Southwest

  • The philosophy that supported Indian art as economic development was derived from the Meriam Report and became instrumental in the establishment of government laws designed to safeguard against illegitimate Indian art.

  • In 1935 the Indian Arts and Crafts Board was formed.

Two Dancers, Pop Chalee


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First Furlough,

Quincy Tahoma

Ram Dancer,

Pablita Velarde


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Passing the Gifts,

Jimmy Toddy

Squaw Dance,

Harrison Begay

Navajo Female with Basket and Corn,

Narciso Abeyta


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Apache Crown Dancer,

Allen Houser

The Wild Horses,

Allen Houser


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Native American Art in Oklahoma

  • Kiowa artists adopted the themes and styles of Traditional Indian Painting while making it their own.

  • The development of classes at the University of Oklahoma under Jacobson and The Studio at Santa Fe Indian School marked the beginning of the institutionalization of Indian painting.

The Procession,

Stephen Mopope


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Dancing Warrior,

Lois Smoky

Song Bird,

Monroe Tsatoke


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Ceremonial Dancer,

Spencer Asah

Indian War Dance,

Jack Hokeah

Kiowa Funeral,

James Auchiah


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Native American Art in Oklahoma

The art program at Bacone differed in that it was founded and chaired by Native artists, with Native artists as the instructors.

Artists at Bacone depicted figures from legends and mythology and their paintings are somewhat more dramatic than those of the Kiowa and Studio artists.

Southern Cheyenne Sun Dance,

Richard West


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Prairie Fire,

Blackbear Bosin

Eagle Dancer,

Woody Crumbo


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