Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Mischief, Indian Land Series, 1992, acrylic, oil stick, and collage on canvas, 60 x 40 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2013.6. Photography by Edward C. Robison III.
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith Mischief, Indian Land Series
Describe this painting. What parts of it stand out to you?
What various imagery did the artist use that depicts Native Americans? What do these images represent? How are they helpful or harmful?
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith refers to her works from the Indian Land series as narrative landscapes. “They evoke the visible topography of the landscape as well as the life and history encompassed within it,” she explained. Mischief collages a map together with newspaper clippings, cartoons, and images of American Indians. Each element speaks to the destruction of the artist’s Native American culture, livelihood, and environment. The colorful paint simultaneously evokes the lively brushstrokes of American painting in the 1940s and ‘50s, as well as dripping red blood.
Why is it important to identify and examine stereotypes when trying to understand ourselves and other cultures? What are the effects of stereotypes on Native American identity?
In what ways do people express their culture? What defines Native American art? Do you think this painting is “Indian” enough to be called Contemporary Native American art? Why or why not?
In this artwork, how has Jaune Quick-To-See Smith challenged misconceptions of indigenous culture? What do you think the artist is telling us about the experiences of Native Americans in the United States today? Do you think the viewer, to really understand and appreciate the complexity of Smith’s work, must have a good understanding of not only art history but Native American history, land treaties, cultural icons, and current events? Why or why not?
Exhibition sponsored by Kenneth C. Griffin
Learning and engagement programming for We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy is sponsored by:
Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation | Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates, & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. | Johnny and Jeanie Morris, Bass Pro Shops | Alturas Foundation | Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc. | Sotheby’s | Bob and Becky Alexander | Marybeth and Micky Mayfield | Lamar and Shari Steiger | Jeff and Sarah Teague / Citizens Bank | Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities | Avis and Bill Bailey | Scarlett and Neff Basore | June Carter Family | Terri and Chuck Erwin | Jackye and Curtis Finch | The Harrison and Rhonda French Family | Jim and Susan von Gremp | Laurice Hachem | Shannon and Charles Holley | Valorie and Randy Lawson / Lawco Energy Group | Donna and Mack McLarty | Steve and Susan Nelson | Neal and Gina Pendergraft | Helen Porter | JT and Imelda Rose | Lee and Linda Scott | Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Catherine and Michael Mayton, Trustees | William Reese Company