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Imprisoned Art (Hardcover)
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Imprisoned Art (Hardcover)
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Two small books of vivid drawings one filled with images by the
Southern Cheyenne warrior-artist Howling Wolf and the other with
images by Zotom, a Kiowa man came to the Southwest Museum of the
American Indian, now part of the Autry National Center, in December
1986. The books were gifts from Leonora Curtin Paloheimo, and had
been commissioned directly from the artists in 1877 by Paloheimo s
grandmother, Eva Scott Muse Fenyes (1849 1930). At the time Fenyes
commissioned the books, Zotom and Howling Wolf were imprisoned at
Fort Marion in Saint Augustine, Florida. Like some of the other
Southern Plains Indian prisoners held there between mid-1875 and
mid-1878, the two men created many drawings for diverse reasons.
Some of the prisoners books of drawings, including the two that
Fenyes collected, were sold to people who visited the
sixteenth-century Spanish fort.After Eva Scott Fenyes s death, the
books went to her daughter, Leonora Muse Curtin (1879 1972), and
subsequently they were passed to Leonora Curtin Paloheimo (1903
1999). More than one hundred years after their creation, the books
became part of the Southwest Museum s collections. Unlike most of
the museum s other holdings of Native American art, these two books
originated with a commission by Fenyes, a young woman who continued
as a patron of the arts for the remainder of her life.The study of
what has become known as Plains Indian ledger art because the
artists frequently used accountants ledger books as sources of
paper and of Fort Marion drawings in particular, has burgeoned in
the last forty years. Joyce Szabo s examination of the two drawing
books by Zotom and Howling Wolf encompasses their origins and the
issues surrounding their commission as well as what the images say
about their creators and their collector. Szabo augments the
complete reproduction of each page with detail photographs of the
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