Collection Highlights from The Heritage Center at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
Feb. 2 – May 21, 2017
The richness and diversity of Lakota culture is celebrated in this exhibition drawn from the collection of The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Red Cloud Indian School is a private K-12 Catholic, Jesuit school—founded in 1888 at the request of Chief Red Cloud—serving Lakota children on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Jointly administered by the Jesuits and the Lakota people, the school is committed to an education of the mind and spirit that promotes Lakota and Catholic values. Those shared values include quality education, social justice, spiritual formation, and a strong commitment to serving others.
In 1969 the school organized the first Red Cloud Indian Art Show to demonstrate the talent and skills of Native American artists—and to afford them an entrance into the art world. Through purchases made from the annual exhibition, the school quickly amassed an extensive collection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures representing a variety of Native American tribal traditions. In 1982 The Heritage Center opened with a mission to strengthen cultural pride by celebrating and preserving the local Lakota culture and artistic tradition. Today, The Heritage Center’s collection includes nearly 10,000 pieces of Native American contemporary and historic Lakota art.
This exhibition juxtaposes the creations of historic Lakota artists with the work of contemporary Lakota artists inspired by, and in dialogue with, traditional art forms such as buffalo bonnets, ledger drawings, and embellished buffalo horns. It also explores the extraordinary relationship between Jesuit and Lakota cultural traditions characterizing the Red Cloud Indian School.
The Haggerty Museum of Art is grateful to Mary Maxon, Director of The Heritage Center and Ashley Pourier, Curator at The Heritage Center, for their contributions to this exhibition.
Support for this exhibition and accompanying programs is provided by the Marquette University Women’s Council Endowment Fund and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.