1029
1029

PROPERTY OF VARIOUS OWNERS

Album of Original Plains Indian Warrior-Artist Pencil Sketches, ca. 1880
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 20,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
1029

PROPERTY OF VARIOUS OWNERS

Album of Original Plains Indian Warrior-Artist Pencil Sketches, ca. 1880
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 20,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Americana

|
New York

Album of Original Plains Indian Warrior-Artist Pencil Sketches, ca. 1880
Oblong album (7 7/8 x 4 5/8 in.; 200 x 119 mm). 28 original drawings in blue, red, and gray pencil on paper and card, bound in with linen tape; occasional smudging, some finger-soiling to margins. Brown cloth over boards, yellow endpapers; overall wear and fraying with some loss, particularly to spine.
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Provenance

Ex-Library of the Cincinnati Art Museum (bookplate to front pastedown)

Literature

American Dreams: American Art to 1950 in the Williams College Museum of Art, edited by Nancy Mowll Mathews (New York: Hudson Hills Press, Distributed by National Book Newtwork, 2001),  pp. 60-63.

Jean Afton, The Edwards Ledger Drawings:Folk Art By Arapaho Warriors. January 16–March 14, 1990 (New York: David A. Schorsch Incorporated, 1990).

Catalogue Note

The pictography of the Plains Indians fulfilled an important social function for the tribes, the custom being for Indian warriors to use such scenes to depict his feats of bravery on his robe of buffalo hide. In this way all might read his war record as it was wrapped around him, and he would thus be accorded his rightful place in a war-based society.

In the latter half of the 19th century, warrior-artists of the Great Plains—including men of the Arapaho, Caddo, Cheyenne, Comanche, and Kiowa nations—began to compile such historical narratives on paper rather than buffalo hides. In addition to the increasing scarcity of hides, the influx of travellers, traders, and military officers in the West during this period, brought new materials that proved easy to use, and desirable for their portability. It became more than a medium through which one might establish his ranking, and functioned as an essential tool for the common man who had to resolve communication issue between nomadic people. This was done in parallel with the recitation or development of oral histories, making such visual narratives an integral component of traditional Indian arts and culture.

The present album strikingly portrays scenes of warrior combat, various instances of dress—to include that of a cavalry officer—more domestic scenes of hunting, and even a graphic image of a scalping. The variety of imagery creates a broad narrative, offering not only a rich aesthetic, but also a captivating glimpse into the life of a Plains Indian.

Important Americana

|
New York