American Indian
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Oscar Howe (Yanktonai Nakota (Sioux), 1915–1983),
Sioux Boat Race , 1955
tempera on paper, 12 3/16 x 22 ¾ in.; 30.96 x 57.79 cm
Museum purchase, 1955.374

In 1935 Howe enrolled in the important Studio program at the Santa Fe Indian School. At the Studio, Native American students (mostly Southwestern) were directed to paint recognizably Indian subjects in a flat, conventionalized style that recalls both ancient Pueblo religious murals and the approach recently developed at the University of Oklahoma. Although Howe later created a unique abstract approach, he also painted periodically in the Studio style throughout his career. His subject matter as a mature artist was always drawn from his Sioux heritage, much of it from the stories told to him by his grandmother, Shell Face.

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