Dressing Up the Past: Clothing as Evidence of Cultural and Historical Oppression

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Fine Arts | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


The exhibition "Dressing up the Past: Clothing as Evidence of Cultural and Historical Oppression" in the John A. Day gallery from November 18th - November 22nd, 2019 displayed selected lithographs by Oscar Howe from the North American Indian Costumes Collection found in the University's archives. The exhibition aimed to shed light upon and start a conversation around the idea of a singular Native-American identity. There are infinite and varied identities expressed in culture and clothing. Oscar Howe's artworks produced for a large audience enforce the owning and education of enumerable indigenous identities. The depiction of historical and contemporary indigenous people in their traditional dress diversifies perspectives of indigenous people and disassembles the notion of a singular Native-American identity. The CURCS grant aided in our vision to create a cohesive and professional display of the works that added to the experience of the exhibit. The grant was directly responsible for the frames. The frames helped to present the prints as artifacts to reflect upon critically rather than to view as contemporary records of fact. Through this project we were able to examine the interaction between the content and the design of the show.

First Advisor

Lauren Freese

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