Special Issue "Native Survivance and Visual Sovereignty: Indigenous Visual and Material Culture in the 19th and 20th Centuries"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752). This special issue belongs to the section "Visual Arts".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (12 July 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sascha T. Scott
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Art and Music Histories, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
Interests: nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art; Native American and Indigenous visual culture; art and politics
Dr. Amy Lonetree
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Associate Professor, History Department, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
Interests: Indigenous history; museum studies; commemoration and public memory; native American cultural production; public history; Ho-Chunk tribal history

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The last several years have marked a surge in public awareness of Indigenous culture and politics in North America. At the same time, large-scale protests of corporate and government aggression against Native peoples have gained national attention, dominant cultural institutions have begun to break their long silence about Indigenous art. In 2017, Art Journal and Art in America published Special Issues devoted to contemporary Indigenous art, highlighting messages of survivance (Indigenous survival and resistance), resilience, and visual sovereignty. What has gone underrecognized is that these concepts and strategies find their roots in the visual and material culture produced by Indigenous artists working in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Historical Indigenous art production has been long understood through the lenses of Euro-American patronage and cross-cultural accommodation. Recently, scholars have productively challenged these conventional and often pacifying narratives by highlighting Indigenous aesthetic, cultural, and political agency in the face of aggressive colonialism.

This Special Issue is focused on Indigenous visual and material culture produced during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and features a diverse group of Native and non-Native scholars and artists from the academy, museums, and Indigenous cultural centers. The papers highlight how Indigenous peoples have mobilized images and objects in order to transform, accommodate, revise, and resist dominant structures, asserting their right to self-representation, self-determination, and/or self-governance. The legacy of nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists' efforts reverberates in the thriving and vibrant contemporary Indigenous art scene.

Dr. Sascha T. Scott
Dr. Amy Lonetree
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Indigenous visual and material culture
  • Indigenous art
  • nineteenth century
  • twentieth century
  • survivance
  • visual sovereignty
  • art history, museology, history, anthropology

Published Papers (11 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Other

Editorial
The Past and the Future Are Now
Arts 2020, 9(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9030077 - 09 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1149
Abstract
On 20 June 1918, Crescencio Martinez (Ta’e), a painter and pottery designer from San Ildefonso Pueblo, died of influenza [...] Full article
Editorial
The Long Game
Arts 2020, 9(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020067 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 1048
Abstract
We are pleased and honored to include the keynote address delivered by award-winning Sičáŋǧu Lakota artist, Dyani White Hawk Polk at the Native American Art Studies Association Conference (NAASA) on 2 October 2019. The NAASA is the leading professional and scholarly organization supporting [...] Read more.
We are pleased and honored to include the keynote address delivered by award-winning Sičáŋǧu Lakota artist, Dyani White Hawk Polk at the Native American Art Studies Association Conference (NAASA) on 2 October 2019. The NAASA is the leading professional and scholarly organization supporting and promoting the study and exchange of ideas related to Indigenous arts in the United States and Canada. At the organization’s biennial conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and while standing on Dakota traditional lands, Dyani White Hawk Polk delivered her important address, “The Long Game.” In it, she movingly and powerfully explores her life experiences, the history of and ongoing effects of colonialism, and how both inform her artistic practice. Her address traces the roles of mentors in her life, including the late Ho-Chunk artist, Truman Lowe, who taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison during her time in the MFA program. She eloquently speaks to the challenges she has faced in tackling head-on hierarches in the art world that have continuously sought to diminish the significance of Indigenous art. She also provocatively addresses how artists, scholars, and critics can build the field of Indigenous art and support Indigenous artists. The address was widely praised at the conference, owing to the power and beauty of her words, as she spoke to how the past effects the present and as she illuminated a path for the future. We are grateful to be able to include her address in this Special Issue of Arts journal. Her thought-provoking address is both an artistic statement and a profound and moving commentary on the state of the Indigenous art world. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Other

Article
Collecting Haudenosaunee Art from the Modern Era
Arts 2020, 9(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020055 - 29 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1736
Abstract
My essay considers the history of collecting the art of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists in the twentieth century. For decades Native visual and material culture was viewed under the guise of ‘crafts.’ I look back to the work of Lewis Henry Morgan on Haudenosaunee [...] Read more.
My essay considers the history of collecting the art of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists in the twentieth century. For decades Native visual and material culture was viewed under the guise of ‘crafts.’ I look back to the work of Lewis Henry Morgan on Haudenosaunee material culture. His writings helped establish a specific notion of Haudenosaunee material culture within the scholarly field of anthropology in the nineteenth century. At that point two-dimensional arts did not play a substantial role in Haudenosaunee visual culture, even though both Tuscarora and Seneca artists had produced drawings and paintings then. I investigate the turn toward collecting two-dimensional Haudenosaunee representational art, where before there was only craft. I locate this turn at the beginning of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration in the 1930s. It was at this point that Seneca anthropologist Arthur C. Parker recruited Native crafts people and painters working in two-dimensional art forms to participate in a Works Progress Administration-sponsored project known as the Seneca Arts Program. Thereafter, museum collectors began purchasing and displaying paintings by the artists: Jesse Cornplanter, Sanford Plummer, and Ernest Smith. I argue that their representation in museum collections opened the door for the contemporary Haudenosaunee to follow. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Ana-Ethnographic Representation: Early Modern Pueblo Painters, Scientific Colonialism, and Tactics of Refusal
Arts 2020, 9(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010006 - 11 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1452
Abstract
In 1918, San Ildefonso Pueblo artist Crescencio Martinez completed two commissions for the anthropologist Edgar L. Hewett: A set of paintings and a series of tiles. The paintings, called the Crescencio Set, mark a formative moment in the development of a new [...] Read more.
In 1918, San Ildefonso Pueblo artist Crescencio Martinez completed two commissions for the anthropologist Edgar L. Hewett: A set of paintings and a series of tiles. The paintings, called the Crescencio Set, mark a formative moment in the development of a new genre of art, modern Pueblo painting. Before Crescencio and his San Ildefonso peers began creating images of ceremonial and daily life for sale to outsiders, they were hired as day laborers at archaeological excavations. While Pueblo laborers benefited financially from working with anthropologists, they nevertheless understood anthropology as a threat to their communities, as scientists disrupted sacred sites and the dead, collected sensitive material, and pushed informants for esoteric information. In countering this new colonial threat, Pueblo communities deployed long-developed tactics of resistance. Among the most powerful of these tactics is what Audra Simpson calls “refusal”. Many Pueblo laborers refused to share esoteric knowledge with anthropologists, a tactic adopted by those laborers who became artists. Early Pueblo paintings can, thus, be understood as “ana-ethnographic”, a representational mode through which the artists worked both through and against ethnographic norms in order to simultaneously benefit from, manipulate, and resist scientific colonialism. Crescencio’s paintings and tiles are paradigmatically ana-ethnographic. In creating these objects, Crescencio benefited from the ethnographic desire to know and record Pueblo life, and yet he only represented aspects of his culture appropriate for outsider consumption, refusing to share protected knowledge. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The American Flag and the Alaska Native Brotherhood
Arts 2019, 8(4), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040158 - 02 Dec 2019
Viewed by 897
Abstract
The Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) (est. 1912) is one of the oldest Indigenous rights groups in the United States. Although critics have accused the ANB of endorsing assimilationist policies in its early years, recent scholarship has re-evaluated the strategies of the ANB to [...] Read more.
The Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) (est. 1912) is one of the oldest Indigenous rights groups in the United States. Although critics have accused the ANB of endorsing assimilationist policies in its early years, recent scholarship has re-evaluated the strategies of the ANB to advance Tlingit and Haida governance at the same time that they pursued a strategic commitment to the settler state. Contributing to this re-appraisal of the early ANB, this article examines photographic documentation of the use of the American flag in ANB Halls from the period 1914–1945. I argue that the pairing of the American flag with Indigenous imagery in ANB Halls communicated the ANB’s commitment to U.S. citizenship and to Tlingit and Haida sovereignty. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Trusting You Will See This as We Do: The Hidatsa Water Buster (Midi Badi) Clan Negotiates the Return of a Medicine Bundle from the Museum of the American Indian in 1938
Arts 2019, 8(4), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040156 - 26 Nov 2019
Viewed by 1947
Abstract
An often cited 1938 repatriation from the Museum of the American Indian in New York City to the members of the Water Buster or Midi Badi clan of the Hidatsa tribe in North Dakota is revisited. Rather than focusing on this event as [...] Read more.
An often cited 1938 repatriation from the Museum of the American Indian in New York City to the members of the Water Buster or Midi Badi clan of the Hidatsa tribe in North Dakota is revisited. Rather than focusing on this event as a “first” in repatriation history or using it as a character assessment of the director of the museum, this account highlights the clan’s agency and resistance through an examination of their negotiation for the return of a sacred bundle and the objects they selected to provide in exchange. Through this example, we see how tribes have had to make hard choices in hard times, and how repatriation is a form of resistance and redress that contributes to the future of a community’s wellbeing in the face of a history of religious and colonial oppression. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Pathway Home: Connecting Museum Collections with Native Communities
Arts 2019, 8(4), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040154 - 22 Nov 2019
Viewed by 4501
Abstract
In 2016, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and the Poeh Cultural Center, owned and operated by the Pueblo of Pojoaque in New Mexico, begin work on a loan of 100 ceramics in NMAI’s collections to the Poeh Cultural Center. [...] Read more.
In 2016, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and the Poeh Cultural Center, owned and operated by the Pueblo of Pojoaque in New Mexico, begin work on a loan of 100 ceramics in NMAI’s collections to the Poeh Cultural Center. Making loans to other institutions is regular practice for NMAI. In making loans to tribal museums and cultural centers, a loan can take on cultural and spiritual significance, which was the case for the Poeh Cultural Center and the community members it supports and represents. This article addresses the importance of connecting Native peoples with museum collections, which has the potential to contribute to community well-being, by featuring the partnership between NMAI and the Poeh Cultural Center. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Siyosapa: At the Edge of Art
Arts 2019, 8(4), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040148 - 05 Nov 2019
Viewed by 1157
Abstract
The art history of Native North America built its corpus through considerations of “art-by-appropriation,” referring to selections of historically produced objects reconsidered as art, due to their artful properties, in addition to “art-by-intention,” referring to the work by known artists intended for the [...] Read more.
The art history of Native North America built its corpus through considerations of “art-by-appropriation,” referring to selections of historically produced objects reconsidered as art, due to their artful properties, in addition to “art-by-intention,” referring to the work by known artists intended for the art market. The work of Siyosapa, a Hunkpapa/Yanktonai holy man active at Fort Peck, Montana during the 1880s and 1890s, troubles these distinctions with his painted drums and muslin paintings featuring the Sun Dance sold to figures of colonial authority: Military officers, agency officials, and others. This essay reassembles the corpus of his work through the analysis of documentary and collections records. In their unattributed state, some of his creations proved very influential during early attempts by art museums to define American Indian art within a modernist, twentieth century sense of world art history. However, after reestablishing Siyosapa’s agency in the creation and deployment of his drums and paintings, a far more complicated story emerges. While seemly offering “tourist art” or “market art,” his works also resemble diplomatic presentations, and represent material representations of his spiritual powers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Circulating Regalia and Lakȟóta Survivance, c. 1900
Arts 2019, 8(4), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040146 - 31 Oct 2019
Viewed by 1373
Abstract
This essay offers object biographies of two examples of Lakȟóta beaded regalia that traveled with Wild West performers to France in 1889 and in 1911, respectively, as exemplars of Gerald Vizenor’s concept of survivance. By examining the production of the objects by women [...] Read more.
This essay offers object biographies of two examples of Lakȟóta beaded regalia that traveled with Wild West performers to France in 1889 and in 1911, respectively, as exemplars of Gerald Vizenor’s concept of survivance. By examining the production of the objects by women artists within the Lakȟóta community and visually analyzing their designs, this article highlights the regalia as an opposition to both settler colonial political suppression and enforced attempts of cultural assimilation. The article stresses that the beadwork’s materiality bears traces of its intended circulation and public display that are enacted when Lakȟóta individuals wore the regalia in the context of Wild West performance in France. Both when rooted in the Lakȟóta community and when circulating through Wild West shows, the objects evince Lakȟóta survivance. When the regalia was acquired by non-Native individuals in France, who projected new meanings onto the objects, the function of the regalia as a public statement of Lakȟóta survivance subtly continued to operate through generated revenue for the community and through the visibility of Lakȟóta culture through continued circulation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Basket Weaving in Coastal Southern California: A Social History of Survivance
Arts 2019, 8(3), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030094 - 23 Jul 2019
Viewed by 1656
Abstract
This article underscores the romanticization of basket weaving in coastal Southern California in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the survival of weaving knowledge. The deconstruction of outdated terminology, mainly the misnomer “Mission Indian”, highlights the interest in California’s Spanish colonial [...] Read more.
This article underscores the romanticization of basket weaving in coastal Southern California in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the survival of weaving knowledge. The deconstruction of outdated terminology, mainly the misnomer “Mission Indian”, highlights the interest in California’s Spanish colonial past that spurred consumer interest in Southern California basketry and the misrepresentation of diverse Indigenous communities. In response to this interest weavers seized opportunities to not only earn a living at a time of significant social change but also to pass on their practice when Native American communities were assimilating into mainstream society. By providing alternative labelling approaches, this article calls for museums to update their collection records and to work in collaboration with Southern California’s Native American communities to respectfully represent their weaving customs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Essay
T.C. Cannon’s Guitar
Arts 2019, 8(4), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040132 - 14 Oct 2019
Viewed by 1116
Abstract
How might we understand the art—and perhaps something of the life—of Kiowa/Caddo artist T.C. Cannon by centering his engagement with music and in particular with a meditation on Cannon’s 000-18 Martin guitar, which greeted visitors to the landmark exhibition, T.C. Cannon: At the [...] Read more.
How might we understand the art—and perhaps something of the life—of Kiowa/Caddo artist T.C. Cannon by centering his engagement with music and in particular with a meditation on Cannon’s 000-18 Martin guitar, which greeted visitors to the landmark exhibition, T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America? In the form of a personal reflective essay, T.C. Cannon’s Guitar contemplates my own history with similar guitars, songs from the folk-songwriter tradition, and questions of multi-media crossings—art, music, text, object—that demonstrate revealing stylistic affinities. The essay explores intergenerational relations between myself, Cannon, and my father Vine Deloria, Jr., the three of us evenly spaced over the course of the late twentieth century, and it does so in an effort to understand something about the historical impulses of the period between 1965 and 1978. In that moment—accessible to me through memories of affects more than memories of actions—Native politics and art were both figuring out ways to honor the past while making it new, creating distinctive forms that we can recognize around concepts such as survivance, sovereignty, and indigenous modernism. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop