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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Opening with the life and art of Dakota artist Oscar Howe, the chapter discusses the “Indianness” of Native art and the frustrations experienced by Native artists over the years surrounding their creative expressions. The chapter is arranged chronologically, opening in the late nineteenth century and highlighting sample exhibitions, artworks, and artists from the United States in order to illustrate broad conceptual issues. These include Indian authenticity and identity, differences between fine art and “crafts,” traditional versus contemporary art forms, the role of the arts in economic development, and the impact of federal power on the arts. The chapter draws examples from painting, sculpture, photography, video, and performance art. It concludes with a proposal for understanding Native art inspired by the words of Santa Clara artist Rose Simpson.

Keywords: Native American art, expressive arts, art history, twentieth century, US history, Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Institute of American Indian Arts, Indian Arts and Crafts Act, Oscar Howe, Rose Simpson

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