Cahokia to Contemporary: Native American Arts, Past(s) and Future


The arts of Native American communities demand a primary place in both American and global art histories. The historic depth, variety of cultural expression, and circumstances of the collection, exhibition and interpretation of native arts continue to demand our careful and critical attention. We are well situated in St Louis to consider both the indigenous artistic cultures of our own region, and to observe the vitality of native modern and contemporary art practice. Key concerns include the artists' relationship to space and place, their presentation of identities, politicized and activist dimensions of their practices, their negotiation of issues of race and gender, and their conscious relationships to both historic traditions and to contemporary culture. Through the study of local collections and special exhibitions on view in 2023, we will examine a significant range of works-from the Mississippian cultures exemplified by the nearby sites of Cahokia and Sugar Loaf Mound, to the collection of historic materials we will study at the Kemper Art Museum, to the modern and postmodern works on view locally by such artists as Fritz Scholder, Edgar Heap of Birds, Juane Quick-to-See Smith, Faye HeavyShield, Wendy Red Star, Rose Simpson, and others. Class field trips to Cahokia, to the CounterPublic Triennial in St. Louis, and on a spring weekend to Washington DC to visit the National Museum of the American Indian are funded by a generous grant from the Mark S. Weil and Joan M. Hall Endowment for Art History & Archaeology. Prerequisites: One 300-level course in Art History or permission of instructor
Course Attributes: AS HUM; AS LCD; AS SC; FA HUM; AR HUM; EN H; FA AH

Section 01

Cahokia to Contemporary: Native American Arts, Past(s) and Future
View Course Listing - SP2023