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Native American Portrayals in Art

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  • 1. Depictions of Native Americans in Art and Popular Culture By Greg Eakins “ Trail of Tears” by Robert Lindneux
  • 2. This selection of works is intended to promote equality between all Americans. The art seen in this exhibit is taken from all eras of American History. The artists featured in the exhibit are both Native and White. Ultimately, these arts show how the popular image of Native American peoples has changed over time.
  • 3. Native American Statistics
    • Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act of 1830 led to the forced relocation of thousands of Natives to reservations in the West.
    • About half of Native Americans live on reservations today.
    • They are the most statistically impoverished ethnic group in the country.
    • They have some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy, high school dropouts, suicide, and unemployment.
  • 4. Early English Depictions of Native Americans
    • John White was the first artist to bring back images of the new world to Europe.
    • He painted the natives in a realistic and reverent manner.
  • 5. John White
  • 6. John White
  • 7. Theodore deBry
    • deBry used White’s drawings as models for illustrations for a book.
    • To make the images more palatable for the European audience, he made the Indians appear more European in their posture.
    • To increase interest, he also portrayed them as more savage.
  • 8. Theodore deBry
  • 9. Theodore deBry
  • 10. Theodore deBry
  • 11. 18th and 19th Century Depections
    • Native Americans began to be painted in a very negative light.
    • A popular painting subject was Indians holding young white women hostage.
  • 12. Carl Wimar Five Indians and a Captive 1855
  • 13. Eanger Irving Crouse The Captive 1891
  • 14. Charles Bird King
    • Famous for his portraits done in Washington D.C. of Native American ambassadors
    • Had a lifelong interest in Natives from his own father’s death at their hands.
    • Rather than holding a grudge he deeply respected them and their ways.
    • He believed they were near “Extinction” so he set about preserving their likenesses for posterity
  • 15. Charles Bird King
  • 16. Charles Bird King
  • 17. George Catlin
    • The first white artist to document plains Indians.
    • Intended to show the conflict between native and white America and how it would destroy a way of life that had existed for thousands of years.
  • 18. George Catlin
  • 19. George Catlin
  • 20. George Catlin
  • 21. 20th Century Depictions: Marginalization
    • Popular culture such as TV and film found new ways to represent native people.
    • Often, leading Native American characters would be played by white actors.
    • This trend has been bucked in recent years.
  • 22. The Searchers Directed by John Ford, 1956 German born actor Henry Brandon
  • 23. The New World Directed by Terrance Malick, 2005 Wes Studi, member of Cherokee Tribe
  • 24. Popular Native American Depictions Today
    • The most contact an average American today has with Native Americans is through their use as mascots for many popular sports franchises.
    • The practice started long ago and continues today.
  • 25. Some popular mascots Chief Wahoo
  • 26. How is this…. … different than this?
  • 27. Having a team named the Redskins is no different than having a team named the Niggers
  • 28. Making it equal isn’t hard Warriors logo from 1949-1962 Warriors logo today
  • 29. Backlash by Native Americans
    • Native artists since the 1970s have been increasingly active in voicing their opinion of their mistreatment.
  • 30. “ We the People” Wayne Eagleboy, 1971
  • 31. Goal:
    • This collection of art aims to educate the viewer about the portrayal of Native Americans throughout American history. There have been positive and negative depictions from artists of many different backgrounds but one thing is clear, racial equality still does not exist in this country.
  • 32. Sources http://www.channel4.com/blogs/page/artofglass?entry=first_glipse_of_a_new http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:De_Bry_Chief_Virginia.jpg http://www.virginiaplaces.org/nativeamerican/anglopowhatan.html http://www.csulb.edu/~aisstudy/woodcuts/001_001_0053_1335.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Americans_in_the_United_States http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bird_King http://americanart.si.edu/catlin/highlights.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:PhiladelphiaWarriors.png http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/f/frame.html http://www.ccca.ca/c/writing/t/townsend-gault/tgault015t.html http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/11/movies/11scot.html http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h1567.html