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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Numbering around six hundred objects, the Hood's collection from the Great Plains of America includes a wide variety of feather work, such as peyote fans and war bonnets; beadwork, including baby cradles, moccasins, shoulder bags, vests, and war bonnets; weapons, drums, and arrowheads; and dolls from the various cultures of the region.

The great diversity of this collection reflects the widespread collecting interests of Americans in the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, and it is epitomized by gifts to the museum by Frank C. and Clara G. Churchill; Guido R. Rahr Sr.; Glover Street Hastings III; Capt. Herbert L. Shuttleworth II, Class of 1935; Newton Buckner; Charles W. Bethune, Class of 1940; Barbara Wellington Wells; Mr. and Mrs. Alexis Chapman Proctor, Class of 1918; and Mrs. Mary Perley in honor of the Class of 1943 and Henry G. Perley. The collection therefore captures the essence of the transitional lifestyles of Plains cultures at a time of great change through their forced relocation onto reservations. While some of the works in this part of the collection represent object types, styles, and iconographies of the pre-reservation era, many reflect also the adaptation to and adoption of new media, imagery, and cultural stimulus as a means of creative resistance against cultural loss.

The museum's recent acquisition of the Mark Lansburgh collection of ledger drawings from the middle to the end of the nineteenth century by well-known warrior-artists such as Howling Wolf, Chief Killer, Short Bull, and Wooden Leg adds an vital new aspect to the Plains collection. Both in their artistic excellence and social and historical value, these drawings serve as a vital record of cultural survival and transformation. A small group of works on paper by the Kiowa Five, artists James Auchiah and Stephen Mopope, and their protégé Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Crumbo illustrate the link between ledger art and early-twentieth-century developments in the Native American Fine Arts movement.

Last Updated: 1/23/09