Myth & Reality: The Art of the Great Plains

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Horse Mask, ca. 1870. Unidentified Artist, Nez Perce. The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art.

The complex relationship between distinct cultures creates a remarkable dynamic, especially when one culture attempts to make a pictorial record of the other. The exaggerations and inaccuracies of the resultant imagery can have an intense impact on both cultures. For America and most of the world, the Great Plains evokes images of painted tipis, savage buffalo hunts, and warriors on horseback wearing elaborate feather headdresses. This exhibition features Plains artists’ representations from their own culture through the lens of four distinct subjects: Horses, Women, The “Other” and the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Myth & Reality: The Art of the Great Plains was funded in part by a generous grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, a federal agency. This exhibition was curated by Joe Horse Capture, A'aninin (Gros Ventre). This exhibition is drawn from the collections of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Diker, and The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art.