The Arts of the North American Indian: Native Traditions in Evolution
Edited by Edwin L. Wade
Hudson Hill Press, New York, in association with Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa
Hardcover, first edition 1986. 324 pages, illustrated. Excellent condition
From the Jacket:
This lavishly produced volume provides a unique and comprehensive look at the rich tradition of American Indian art. Fourteen authors, including many of the most distinguished American, Canadian, and European authorities in the field, explore the aesthetic phenomena of Native American art.
The range of their investigation, which includes sociological, anthropological, and art-historical viewpoints, covers a period of more than three thousand years and more than sixty tribes, representing all the major culture areas: Alaskan, Eskimo, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, Plateau, Plains, Great Basin, Southwest, Eastern Woodlands, and Southeast. Hundreds of objects are reproduced-along with much rare documentary material, including photographs of the artists and ceremonies-in 67 colorplates and 211 halftone illustrations. The art ranges from the traditional to the avant garde, and includes ledger drawings, paintings, pottery, blankets, beadwork, carvings, moccasins, jewelry, masks, basketry, and more.
The Arts of the North American Indian is organized to confront seven major issues: meaning, tradition, aesthetics, quality, the place of the creative individual in a tribal society, controversy, and the future (including the interrelationship of Native American art and mainstream modernism). It accomplishes admirably the goal set forth by the project's editor, Edwin L. Wade, Curator of Non-European Art at Philbrook Art Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma: "Posterity deserves at least an accurate record of the brilliance of native traditions, for we, the civilized, have yet to surpass them in either conviction or vision." That vision is captured magnificently in this beautiful volume, the most important book published in many years on the arts of the North American Indian.
Introduction: What is Native American Art?
The Meanings of Native American Art
Aesthetic Archives: The Visual Language of Plains Ledger Art
Tradition in Native American Art
European Influences on Plains Indian Art
Aesthetics in Native American Art
The Dancing Headdress Frontlet:
Aesthetic Context on the Northwest Coast
Determining Quality in Native American Art
Sculptural Arts of North America
The Individual in Native American Art: The Sociological View
Washo Innovators and Their Patrons
Controversy in Native American Art
Straddling the Cultural Fence:
The Conflict for Ethnic Artists within Pueblo Societies
Frames of Reference:
Native American Art in the Context of Modern and Postmodern Art
Tall Visitor at the Indian Gallery;
or, The Future of Native American Art