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Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
Native American, 1940 -

Famous Names, 1998
Native American Painting
Oil, acrylic, collaged photographs and mixed media on canvas
80 in. x 50 in. (203.2 cm x 127 cm), without frame

Gift of Thomas H. and Marion J. Hawks, by exchange,  98.39

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About the Object

Jaune Quick-To-See Smith’s collaged paintings incorporate the desert colors of her childhood with the spontaneous brushwork of Abstract Expressionism. She has said about her work:

My art, my life experience, and my tribal ties are totally enmeshed. I go from one community with messages to the other, and I try to enlighten people.

Famous Names accomplishes Smith’s self-appointed task. The canvas is dominated by the image of a traditional Native American buckskin dress. The photographs and text around this central form refer to stereotypes that the dominant non-Native culture has used to describe Native Americans as simultaneously exotic and ridiculous, and to marginalize them. As Seneca artist and site manager of Ganondagan
G. Peter Jemison writes in an essay on this painting, the “famous names” referenced in the title offer a composite of “a record of people with ancient ties to the land and of the often-bungled attempts of English-speaking writers to capture what a translator related.”

[Summer 2015]

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