By Erica Evans
Cantor Arts Center recently unveiled a new art installation made up of 12 drawings by Native American artist Red Horse, which depict the infamous battle of Little Bighorn.
Red Horse was a Sioux warrior who fought victoriously against the United States Army as a member of the combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes in 1876. His work portrays the battle from the Native American perspective and offers unique insights into many cultural and historical elements of that period.
According to a Stanford News article, the drawings are made from graphite, colored pencil and ink and are currently on loan to Cantor from the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution. The exhibition will be on display in Cantor Arts Center through May 9.
The idea for this exhibition was sparked by a Sophomore College course entitled, Political Science 22SC: “The Face of Battle,” taught by professor of political science, Scott Sagan. Students in Sagan’s class viewed Red Horse’s artwork at the National Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Institution and then to travelled to Montana where the battle actually took place.
Noting how riveting these drawings were and how well they captured the raw senses of fear and excitement from battle as well as the brutality and sadness of death, Sagan requested that the exhibition be brought to campus.
This is the first time Red Horse’s drawings of the Battle of Little Bighorn have been displayed in a West Coast museum, and since arriving at Stanford, the exhibition has continued to inspire learning and creativity among students.
Last year’s student-initiated course entitled “The Art and Artifacts of the Battle of Little Bighorn” was one project conceived from the opportunity students had to examine these drawings. In addition to weekly guest speakers, the class involved the creation of a student-curated exhibit that will open Feb. 24.
Contact Erica Evans at elevans ‘at’ stanford.edu.