Arthur Amiotte (Oglala Lakota (Sioux), born 1942),
Ascent of the Maiden
casein (tempera) on paper, 23 x 17 in.; 58.42 x 43.18 cm
Museum purchase with funds provided by HunTel Systems, 2000.5
The artist describes this painting as a depiction of an Eastern Sioux (Dakota) myth. A great flood once covered the earth, killing all humans and turning their bodies and blood into catlinite, the red stone now revered for the making of pipes. One virtuous maiden survived, rescued by a god disguised as an eagle who swooped down and carried her to a mountain top; there she gave birth to twins, fathered by the eagle-god.
Amiotte was a young university student when he created Ascent of the Maiden. One of his most important teachers was Oscar Howe (Yanktonai Nakota [Sioux]). The swirling style of Ascent of the Maiden reflects Howe’s influence.