Umine Dance, 1958. Casein and gouache on paper, mounted to board, 18 x 22 in., Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.
Umine Dance, 1958. Casein and gouache on paper, mounted to board, 18 x 22 in., Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.

Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe

Oct 29, 2022 – May 14, 2023

Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe introduces new generations to one of the twentieth century’s most innovative Native American painters. Howe (1915–1983) committed his artistic career to the preservation, relevance, and ongoing expression of his Yanktonai Dakota culture. He proved that art could be simultaneously modern and embedded in customary Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Sioux) culture and aesthetics—to him there was no contradiction. Howe challenged the art establishment’s preconceptions and definitions of Native American painting. In doing so, he catalyzed a movement among Native artists to express their individuality rather than conforming to an established style. This legacy of innovation and advocacy continues to inspire generations of Native artists to take pride in their heritage and resist stereotypes.

Dakota Modern traces more than forty years of the artist’s career and development from early conventional work created while in high school in the 1930s through the emergence in the 1950s and 1960s of his innovative and abstract approach to painting.

Organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Portland Art Museum. Curated by Kathleen Ash-Milby, Curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum. Major support provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Additional support provided by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art. Support for the Portland Art Museum installation provided by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, grant MA-249741-OMS-21.
Institute of Museum and Library Services logo

Dakota Modern was on view March 12 – September 11, 2022, at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City.

Apr
14
Fri
Symposium: Breaking the Chains: The Legacy of Oscar Howe
Apr 14 @ 3:00 pm – Apr 15 @ 8:00 pm

In this one-and-a-half-day event, artists will join academic and community scholars to explore ideas about Oscar Howe’s life and legacy introduced in the Dakota Modern exhibition and book. Speakers will discuss the role of cultural authority in Howe’s practice as well as his art in relation to Native American politics. Other topics include the impact of Howe’s work as an educator through the summer workshop for Native students he founded, and the ongoing expression of his legacy through the work of Dakota and Lakota artists today. The symposium will begin with an inspiring keynote lecture by Lakota artist Dyani White Hawk the evening of April 14.

Speakers and other details coming soon.

Purchase tickets
Oscar Howe in his studio, ca. 1968; Oscar Howe papers, Richardson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, University Libraries, University of South Dakota
Oscar Howe in his studio, ca. 1968; Oscar Howe papers, Richardson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, University Libraries, University of South Dakota

Lead Corporate Sponsor

  • Bank of America Foundation

Major Sponsors

  • Ameriprise Financial 
  • The Standard
  • Greg and Cathy Tibbles

Sponsors

  • The Boeing Company
  • Ed Cauduro Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation
  • Janet H. Geary and John Miller
  • William G. Gilmore Foundation
  • Melvin Mark Brokerage Company
  • Caryll and Norman F. Sprague, Jr. Foundation
  • Pat and Trudy Ritz
  • Bob and Liz Warren

Supporters

  • Joe and Cathleen Karcher
  • KeyBank
  • Wells Fargo Foundation

 

Support for this exhibition is also provided by the Maribeth Collins Exhibition Endowment Fund.

Friends

  • Froelick Gallery