Catalogue

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A New Deal for Native art : Indian arts and federal policy, 1933-1943 /
Jennifer McLerran.
imprint
Tucson : University of Arizona Press, c2009.
description
299 p. : ill., map ; 27 cm.
ISBN
0816527660 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780816527663 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Tucson : University of Arizona Press, c2009.
isbn
0816527660 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780816527663 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Introduction: A New Deal for Native art -- Saving Native arts from the tourist -- A folk culture for the Americas -- The development of a new federal Indian policy -- Indian arts and crafts cooperatives and Indian extension service arts and crafts programs -- Museum display of Indian art -- Indian New Deal mural projects -- The Civilian Conservation Corps, Indian Division.
catalogue key
7018836
 
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-05-01:
Museum of Northern Arizona curator McLerran criticizes Robert Fay Schrader (The Indian Arts and Crafts Board, CH, Dec'83) and Susan Meyn (More than Curiosities, CH, Mar'02, 39-4182) for presenting histories rather than analyses and states that her goal is to show that the New Deal Indian policy presented Indian art and artists as preindustrial or premodern others, not as part of the contemporary US. She argues that John Collier and Rene d'Harnoncourt, the men responsible for the Indian arts segment of the New Deal, were romantic primitivists whose efforts to preserve (or revive) and market traditional arts served the colonialist attitudes of most Americans, especially the wealthy. Most of the book describes the development of the New Deal Indian art policy, with emphasis on Collier and d'Harnoncourt. McLerran also discusses various programs that were created to market Indian art. Students will have difficulty with the chapters on policy, but the chapters describing the programs and their outcomes are important historical summaries of events in the development of Native American art. The author draws examples from Indian art, but there is no indication of how the artists regarded their association with the New Deal. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. M. J. Schneider emerita, University of North Dakota
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A fascinating look at how New Deal policies fostered a Native cultural resurgence." Pacific Historical Review
"Provides a wealth of examples that reveal how American Indian participants in government-sponsored programs foiled the best efforts of their handlers to portray themand their artin an ideologically consistent way." Journal of Folklore Research
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
As the Great Depression touched every corner of America, the New Deal promoted indigenous arts and crafts as a means of bootstrapping Native American peoples. But New Deal administrators' romanticization of indigenous artists predisposed them to favor pre-industrial forms rather than art that responded to contemporary markets. In A New Deal for Native Art Jennifer McLerran reveals how positioning the native artist as a pre-modern Other served the goals of New Deal programs and how this sometimes worked at cross-purposes with promoting native self-sufficiency. She describes federal policies of the 1930s and early 1940s that sought to generate an upscale market for Native American arts and crafts. And by unraveling the complex ways in which commodification was negotiated and the roles that producers, consumers, and New Deal administrators played in that process, she sheds new light on native art's commodity status and the artist's position as colonial subject. In this first book to address the ways in which New Deal Indian policy specifically advanced commodification and colonization, McLerran reviews its multi-pronged effort to improve the market for Indian art through the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, arts and crafts cooperatives, murals, museum exhibits, and Civilian Conservation Corps projects. Presenting nationwide case studies that demonstrate transcultural dynamics of production and reception, she argues for viewing Indian art as a commodity, as part of the national economy, and as part of national political trends and reform efforts. McLerran marks the contributions of key individuals, from John Collier and Rene d'Harnoncourt to Navajo artist Gerald Nailor, whose mural in the Navajo Nation Council House conveyed distinctly different messages to outsiders and tribal members. Featuring dozens of illustrations, A New Deal for Native Art offers a new look at the complexities of folk art revivals as it opens a new window on the Indian New Deal.
Main Description
As the Great Depression touched every corner of America, the New Deal promoted indigenous arts and crafts as a means of bootstrapping Native American peoples. But New Deal administrators' romanticization of indigenous artists predisposed them to favor pre-industrial forms rather than art that responded to contemporary markets. In A New Deal for Native Art Jennifer McLerran reveals how positioning the native artist as a pre-modern Other served the goals of New Deal programs--and how this sometimes worked at cross-purposes with promoting native self-sufficiency. She describes federal policies of the 1930s and early 1940s that sought to generate an upscale market for Native American arts and crafts. And by unraveling the complex ways in which commodification was negotiated and the roles that producers, consumers, and New Deal administrators played in that process, she sheds new light on native art's commodity status and the artist's position as colonial subject. In this first book to address the ways in which New Deal Indian policy specifically advanced commodification and colonization, McLerran reviews its multi-pronged effort to improve the market for Indian art through the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, arts and crafts cooperatives, murals, museum exhibits, and Civilian Conservation Corps projects. Presenting nationwide case studies that demonstrate transcultural dynamics of production and reception, she argues for viewing Indian art as a commodity, as part of the national economy, and as part of national political trends and reform efforts. McLerran marks the contributions of key individuals, from John Collier and Rene d'Harnoncourt to Navajo artist Gerald Nailor, whose mural in the Navajo Nation Council House conveyed distinctly different messages to outsiders and tribal members. Featuring dozens of illustrations, A New Deal for Native Art offers a new look at the complexities of folk art "revivals" as it opens a new window on the Indian New Deal.
Main Description
As the Great Depression touched every corner of America, the New Deal promoted indigenous arts and crafts as a means of bootstrapping Native American peoples. But New Deal administrators' romanticization of indigenous artists predisposed them to favor pre-industrial forms rather than art that responded to contemporary markets. In A New Deal for Native Art, Jennifer McLerran reveals how positioning the native artist as a pre-modern Other served the goals of New Deal programsand how this sometimes worked at cross-purposes with promoting native self-sufficiency. She describes federal policies of the 1930s and early 1940s that sought to generate an upscale market for Native American arts and crafts. And by unraveling the complex ways in which commodification was negotiated and the roles that producers, consumers, and New Deal administrators played in that process, she sheds new light on native art's commodity status and the artist's position as colonial subject. In this first book to address the ways in which New Deal Indian policy specifically advanced commodification and colonization, McLerran reviews its multi-pronged effort to improve the market for Indian art through the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, arts and crafts cooperatives, murals, museum exhibits, and Civilian Conservation Corps projects. Presenting nationwide case studies that demonstrate transcultural dynamics of production and reception, she argues for viewing Indian art as a commodity, as part of the national economy, and as part of national political trends and reform efforts. McLerran marks the contributions of key individuals, from John Collier and Rene d'Harnoncourt to Navajo artist Gerald Nailor, whose mural in the Navajo Nation Council House conveyed distinctly different messages to outsiders and tribal members. Featuring dozens of illustrations, A New Deal for Native Art offers a new look at the complexities of folk art "revivals" as it opens a new window on the Indian New Deal.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction: A New Deal for Native Artp. 1
Saving Native Arts from the Touristp. 7
A Folk Culture for the Americasp. 33
The Development of a New Federal Indian Policyp. 65
Indian Arts and Crafts Cooperatives and Indian Extension Service Arts and Crafts Programsp. 103
Museum Display of Indian Artp. 125
Indian New Deal Mural Projectsp. 161
The Civilian Conservation Corps-Indian Divisionp. 199
Conclusionp. 225
Notesp. 229
Bibliographyp. 275
Index of Illustrationsp. 291
Indexp. 295
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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