The Indian Detour

John Sloan, American, 1871 - 1951



Etching on wove paper

Edition of 100. Printing 70. Platt 25, White 20, Roth 25.

Plate: 6 × 7 1/4 in. (15.2 × 18.4 cm)

Sheet: 9 1/2 × 12 3/4 in. (24.1 × 32.4 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Hollon W. Farr



Place Made: United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Signed, in graphite, lower right: John Sloan; inscribed, in graphite, lower left: 100 proofs; lower center: The Indian Detour; lower left Peter Platt imp.; Signed and dated, in plate: lower right: John Sloan '27; Inscribed by dealer, in graphite, lower left: #96 C4122; upper left: 91; Watermark: Van Gelder Zonen/Holland


The Indian Detour is a satirical image of bus tours, such as those offered by the Fred Harvey Company, that brought tourists to Indian reservations along the Santa Fe railway. Taking tourists from their hotels to Pueblos, these day trips served the growing number of Americans who wanted to experience “authentic” Native American culture before it vanished.

While John Sloan, who had a vacation home in Santa Fe, found the gawking of these tourists to be invasive, many Native artists and communities used the tourist economy to make a living and perpetuate existing cultural and artistic practices. Basket-weavers Elizabeth Hickox and her daughter Louise, who lived along the Salmon River in Northern California and sold their work to curio dealer Grace Nicholson, are excellent examples of how these colonial entanglements impacted creative expression.

To create this lidded basket, the Hickoxes used a twining technique to incorporate staghorn lichen–dyed porcupine quills with tightly woven maidenhair fern. The deep purple-black of the fern, combined with the golden yellow porcupine quills, provides the perfect contrast to highlight the bear paw design cascading around the form.

From the 2022 exhibition This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World, curated by Jami C. Powell, Curator of Indigenous Art; Barbara J. MacAdam, former Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art; Thomas H. Price, former Curatorial Assistant; Morgan E. Freeman, former DAMLI Native American Art Fellow; and Michael Hartman, Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American

Course History

HIST 6, NAS 30, History of the American West, Ben Madley, Winter 2012

ARTH 17, The Power of Place: Urban and Rural Images in American Art, 1900-1945, Sarah Powers, Winter 2014

ANTH 7.05, Animals and Humans, Laura Ogden, Winter 2022

GEOG 31.01, Postcolonial Geographies, Erin Collins, Winter 2022

ANTH 50.05, Environmental Archaeology, Madeleine McLeester, Winter 2022

ANTH 50.05, Environmental Archaeology, Madeleine McLeester, Winter 2022

ARTH 5.01, Introduction to Contemporary Art, Mary Coffey and Chad Elias, Winter 2022

ANTH 3.01, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Chelsey Kivland, Summer 2022

ANTH 3.01, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Chelsey Kivland, Summer 2022

SPAN 65.15, Wonderstruck: Archives and the Production of Knowledge in an Unequal World, Silvia Spitta and Barbara Goebel, Summer 2022

Exhibition History

Images of the West: Selections from the Permanent Collection, MAL 190, Harrington Gallery Teaching Exhibition, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 15-August 28, 1994.

John Sloan: Paintings, Prints, Drawings, Jaffe-Friede, Strauss and Barrows Galleries, Dartmouth College Museum and Galleries, Hanover, New Hampshire, October 21, 1981-January 3, 1982; DeCordova and Dana Museum and Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts, January 23-March 7, 1982; Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, Michigan, March 18-May 2, 1982; Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison Wisconsin, June 12-August 1, 1982; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio, September 11-October 24, 1982; Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, November 6, 1982-January 16, 1983.

This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World, Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 5–April 11, 2022.

Publication History

Peter Morse, "John Sloan's Prints", New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1969, p. 256, no. 231.


Dr. and Mrs. Hollon W. Farr (1917-1995), Moriches, New York; given to present collection, 1981.

Catalogue Raisonne

Morse no. 231

This record is part of an active database that includes information from historic documentation that may not have been recently reviewed. Information may be inaccurate or incomplete. We also acknowledge some language and imagery may be offensive, violent, or discriminatory. These records reflect the institution’s history or the views of artists or scholars, past and present. Our collections research is ongoing.

We welcome questions, feedback, and suggestions for improvement. Please contact us at: