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Famous Names

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Famous Names

80 x 50 in. (203.2 x 127 cm)

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
United States

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil, acrylic, collaged photographs and mixed media on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of Thomas H. and Marion J. Hawks, by exchange
Accession Number: 1998.39
Location: Currently on view
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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]

Artist (Steinbaum Krauss Gallery, New York); purchased by the Gallery in 1998

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Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
Modern Art: Who, What, and Why? Materials accompanying a teacher inservice presentation at MAG Spring 2008
Seeing America Inservice Materials from a teacher in-service presentation Spring 2008
Seeing America Chapter on Jaune Quick-to-See Smith's Famous Names, written by G. Peter Jemison.
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