The BAIR MUSEUM is honored to present this exhibition of Plains Indian ledger drawings selected from the Charles H. Barstow Collection of Crow and Gros Ventre drawings held in the Library’s Special Collections Department of Montana State University–Billings. The objects in this exhibit were completed between 1880 and the late 1890s on the Crow Reservation near Billings, Montana. The drawings belong to and speak about a very specific period of Native American life on the Plains just as the Native Plains people were confined to reservations. It was a time of social turbulence and severe economic stress. It was also a time to preserve, record and celebrate personal and tribal identities, to memorialize what one could of the past while struggling to survive newly imposed lifeways. The work known today as “ledger art” contextualizes theiconography of the old and the new in bold, poignant imagery that incorporates both direct and subtle messages and meanings

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