University of Oklahoma Press
- Physical Description
- xix, 203 p. : ill. (some col.), col. map ; 29 cm
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- Main Author
- Other Authors
- A century of Plains Indian art studies
- Plains Indian painting : the history and development of an American art form
- Images of the white man in nineteenth-century Plains Indian art
- The emergence of the named Indian artist in the American West
- Notes on the weasel in historic Plains Indian culture
- The awesome bear in Plains Indian art
- Water monsters in Plains Indian art
- Spanish cattle in Plains Indian art
- A century and a half of Blackfeet picture writing
- A unique pictorial interpretation of Blackfoot Indian religion in 1846/1847
- Pipes for the presidents
- Three effigy pipes by an Eastern Dakota master carver
- Assiniboin Antelope-horn headdresses
- Artists' choices
- Plains Indian artists and anthropologists : a fruitful collaboration.
This collection of John C. Ewers's (1909–97) writings published in various periodicals between 1968 and 1992 was in process at the time of his death and completed and edited by Robinson, Ewers's daughter and collaborator. In his writing and work at the Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning, MT, and the Smithsonian Institution, Ewers was the first to document Plains Indian art and its role in the lives of its creators. In the introduction, Evan M. Maurer (former director, Minneapolis Inst. of the Arts) provides background on Ewers, including his training as an anthropologist, his close relationships with Plains Indian people, and his emphasis on the importance of individual artists in Plains Indian culture. The 15 essays range widely, from overviews of Plains Indian art to discussions of animal imagery, effigy pipes, Blackfeet picture writing, and the relationships between Plains Indian artists and anthropologists. In all, 41 color and 99 black-and-white illustrations and one map provide visual references for the works Ewers describes. VERDICT An essential purchase for lovers of Native American art and culture, and an important book for readers of American studies.—Martha Smith, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY [Page 103]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
John C. Ewers was one of the leading scholars of Plains Indian cultures, and especially Plains Indian art during the 20th century. He published several important books and essays on the topic, beginning with the award-winning Plains Indian Paintingin 1939, and he was one of the founders of the area of study known as ethnohistory. This, his final work, was begun in the 1990s with the assistance of his daughter, Jane Ewers Robinson, and published posthumously. Here Ewers presents 15 essays and articles about the Plains Indian traditions he found particularly fascinating, including images of the white man in nineteenth century Plains Indian art, the emergence of the named Indian artists in the American west, images of bears, weasels, water monsters, and Spanish cattle in Plains art, Blackfeet picture writing, effigy pipes, pipes for Presidents, Assiniboin antelope-horn headdresses, and collaborations between Plains artists and anthropologists. The essays are illustrated with full-color photos of the art, as well as illustrations and historical photos. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)Review by Publisher Summary 2
For almost three-quarters of a century, the study of Plains Indian art has been shaped by the expertise, wisdom, and inspired leadership of John Canfield Ewers (1909'97). Based on years of field research with Native Americans, careful scholarship, and exhaustive firsthand studies of museum collections around the world, Ewers's publications have long been required reading for anyone interested in the cultures of the Plains peoples, especially their visual art traditions. This vividly illustrated collection of Ewers's writings presents studies first published in American Indian Art Magazine and other periodicals between 1968 and 1992. Tracing the history of the pictorial art of Plains peoples from images on rock surfaces to the walls of modern museums, the essays reflect the principal interests of this pioneering scholar of ethnohistory, who was himself a talented artist: the depiction of tribal life and ritual, individual war honors, and aspects of sacred power basic to traditional Plains cultures. Chapters are devoted to particular tribal arts'Blackfeet picture writing and Assiniboine antelope-horn headdresses, for example'as well as the work of particular artists. Ewers also traces interactions between Plains Indian artists and Euro-American artists and anthropologists. Available for the first time in book form, the influential cultural and historical studies collected here'together with all 140 illustrations that Ewers selected for them, including many now in full color'remain vital to our understanding of the Native peoples of the Great Plains.Review by Publisher Summary 3