The Indian Craze: Primitivism, Modernism, and Transculturation in American Art, 1890–1915

The Indian Craze: Primitivism, Modernism, and Transculturation in American Art, 1890–1915

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by Elizabeth Hutchinson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822344084

ISBN-13: 9780822344087

Pub. Date: 03/23/2009

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

In the early twentieth century, Native American baskets, blankets, and bowls could be purchased from department stores, “Indian stores,” dealers, and the U.S. government’s Indian schools. Men and women across the United States indulged in a widespread passion for collecting Native American art, which they displayed in domestic nooks called

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Overview

In the early twentieth century, Native American baskets, blankets, and bowls could be purchased from department stores, “Indian stores,” dealers, and the U.S. government’s Indian schools. Men and women across the United States indulged in a widespread passion for collecting Native American art, which they displayed in domestic nooks called “Indian corners.” Elizabeth Hutchinson identifies this collecting as part of a larger “Indian craze” and links it to other activities such as the inclusion of Native American artifacts in art exhibitions sponsored by museums, arts and crafts societies, and World’s Fairs, and the use of indigenous handicrafts as models for non-Native artists exploring formal abstraction and emerging notions of artistic subjectivity. She argues that the Indian craze convinced policymakers that art was an aspect of “traditional” Native culture worth preserving, an attitude that continues to influence popular attitudes and federal legislation.

Illustrating her argument with images culled from late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century publications, Hutchinson revises the standard history of the mainstream interest in Native American material culture as “art.” While many locate the development of this cross-cultural interest in the Southwest after the First World War, Hutchinson reveals that it began earlier and spread across the nation from west to east and from reservation to metropolis. She demonstrates that artists, teachers, and critics associated with the development of American modernism, including Arthur Wesley Dow and Gertrude Käsebier, were inspired by Native art. Native artists were also able to achieve some recognition as modern artists, as Hutchinson shows through her discussion of the Winnebago painter and educator Angel DeCora. By taking a transcultural approach, Hutchinson transforms our understanding of the role of Native Americans in modernist culture.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822344087
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
03/23/2009
Series:
Objects/Histories
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,186,286
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

1 Unpacking the Indian Corner 11

2 The White Man's Indian Art: Teaching Aesthetics at the Indian Schools 51

3 Playing Indian: Native American Art and Modern Aesthetics 91

4 The Indians in Käet;sebier's Studio 131

5 Angel DeCora's Cultural Politics 171

Epilogue 221

Notes 235

Selected Bibliography 263

Index 267

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The Indian Craze: Primitivism, Modernism, and Transculturation in American Art, 1890–1915 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
enlightens a fascinating time in America with wit and understanding.