Native North American Art

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Ranging from the early pre-contact period to the present day, stressing the conceptual and iconographic continuities over many centuries and across a vast number of regions, the authors introduce the extraordinary variety of Native American arts to a new audience. Their book encompasses both the sacred and secular, political and domestic, the ceremonial and commercial, and establishes the importance of the visual arts in maintaining the integrity of spiritual, social, political, and economic systems within Native North American societies. It concludes brilliantly with the powerful and exciting resurgence of Native North American arts and scholarship in the last few decades.
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Editorial Reviews

H. Shaw Cauchy
Designed to introduce readers to the depth and diversity of Native regional art, it is also a highly readable introduction to Native North American history and anthropology. -- ForeWord Magazine
Library Journal
This latest in Oxford's "History of Art" series makes a fine statement, covering in fewer than 300 pages the artistic output of most Native American tribes across the northern hemisphere over a period of more than eight centuries. Both scholars have written on Native American art before, and the writing, although a trifle pedantic at times, flows smoothly, balancing the sweep of history and the diversity of tribal customs across the continent. In an introduction that stresses the commonality of themes--cosmology, vision quests, love of ornament, reverence of materials--they emphasize the importance of today's Native art as a natural extension. Five regional chapters then incorporate history, outstanding crafts and arts, some prominent figures, and social, religious, and cultural aspects. A final and perhaps disproportionately long chapter treats the present trends in what is termed modern Native art. Illustrations are especially fresh, varied, and well chosen, and a number of maps, a time line, and a bibliographic essay recommending further reading are helpful. A solid, basic reference at the right price; suitable for all libraries.--Gay Neale, Southside Virginia Community Coll., Alberta and Keysville
From the Publisher

"The best guide yet to understanding the complexities of Native North American art....a solidly ground, sophisticated history, combining art history, anthropology, and cultural studies...splendidly well-written...useful and timely."--Gerald McMaster, Curator of Art, Canadian Museum of Civilization

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192842183
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/19/1998
  • Series: Oxford History of Art Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 374,673
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

About the authors Janet Catherine Berlo is the Susan B. Anthony Chair of Gender and Women's Studies and Professor of Art History at the University of Rochester, New York.
Ruth Phillips is Director of the Museum of Anthropology and Professor of Fine Art and Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: An Introduction to the Indigenous Arts of North America
Art History and Native art
What is 'art'? Western discourses and Native American objects
Modes of appreciation: curiosity, specimen, artefact, and art
What is an Indian? Clan, community, political structure, and art
The map of the cosmos
The nature of spirit
Dreams and the vision quest
Art and the public celebration of power
The power of personal adornment
'Creativity is our tradition': innovation and tradition in Native American art
Gender and the making of art

Chapter 2: The Southwest
The Southwest as a region
The ancient world
From the colonial era to the modern Pueblos
Navajo and Apache arts

Chapter 3: The East
The East as a region
Hunting cultures, burial practices, and Early Woodlands art forms
Mississippian art and culture
The cataclysm of contact: the Southeast
The early contact period in the Northeast
Arts of the middle ground
Arts of self-adornment

Chapter 4: The West
The Great Plains
The Intermontaine region—an artistic crossroads
The Far West: arts of California and the Great Basin

Chapter 5: The North
Geography, environment, and language in the North
Sub-arctic clothing: art to honour and protect
The Arctic

Chapter 6: The Northwest Coast
The early contact period
Styles and techniques
Western connoisseurship and Northwest Coast art
Crest art
The potlatch
Art, commodity, and oral tradition
Northwest Coast art in the twentieth century

Chapter 7: The Twentieth Century: Trends in Modern Native Art
Questions of definition
Commoditization and contemporary art
Moments of beginning
The Southern Plains and the Kiowa Five
The Southwest and the 'Studio' style
The display and marketing of American Indian art: exhibitions, mural projects, and competitions
Native American modernisms, 1950-80
Institutional frameworks and modernism in Canada
Postmodernism, installation, and other post-studio art

List of Illustrations
Bibliographic Essay
Chapter 1: An Introduction to the Indigenous Arts of North America Art History and Native Art; What is 'Art'? Western Discourses and Native American Objects; Modes of Appreciation: Curiosity, Specimen, Artefact, and Art; What is an Indian? Clan, Community, Political Structure, and Art; Cosmology; The Map of the Cosmos; The Nature of Spirit; Dreams and the Vision Quest; Shamanism; Art and the Public Celebration of Power; The Power of Personal Adornment; 'Creativity is our Tradition': Innovation and Tradition in Native American Art; Gender and the Making of Art
Chapter 2: The Southwest The Southwest as a Region; The Ancient World; From the Colonial Era to the Modern Pueblos; Navajo and Apache Arts
Chapter 3: The East The East as a Region; Hunting Cultures, Burial Practices, and Early Woodlands Art Forms; Mississippian Art and Culture; The Cataclysm of Contact: the Southeast; The Early Contact Period in the Northeast; Arts of the Middle Ground; Arts of Self-Adornment
Chapter 4: The West Introduction; The Great Plains; The Intermontaine Regionan Artistic Crossroads; The Far West: Arts of California and the Great Basin
Chapter 5: The North Geography, Environment, and Language in the North; Sub-Arctic Clothing: Art to Honour and Protect; The Arctic
Chapter 6: The Northwest Coast Origins; The Early Contact Period; Styles and Techniques; Western Connoisseurship and Northwest Coast Art; Shamanism; Crest Art; The Potlatch; Art, Commodity, and Concepts of Replication; Northwest Coast Art in the Twentieth Century
Chapter 7: The Twentieth Century: Trends in Modern Native Art Questions of Definition; Commoditization and Contemporary Art; Moments of Beginning; The Southern Plains and the Kiowa Five; The Southwest and the 'Studio' Style; The Display and Marketing of American Indian Art: Exhibitions, Mural Projects, and Competitions; Native American Modernisms 195080; Institutional Frameworks and Modernisms in Canada; Postmodernism, Installation, and other Post-Studio Art
Notes List of Illustrations Bibliographic Essay Timeline Index

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