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Oscar Howe papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-072

Content Description

The collection is organized into three subgroups: University papers, Family papers and Photographic materials. The majority of the materials are in the University papers which were collected by John Day who served as University Art Galleries Director and Dean of Fine Arts. These materials include reference materials collected about Howe’s life, art and legacy such as news clippings, publications, interviews and other materials of John Day related to the management of the Oscar Howe Art Center and Howe’s art work at the University. The Family papers consist of materials from Oscar Howe and his family (wife and daughter) which include some of Howe’s correspondence, teaching materials, news clippings, exhibition materials and research materials on art and Native Americans history. Also included are scrapbooks compiled by Heidi Howe. Books from Oscar Howe’s library related to art and Native American history can also be found in the library catalog. Photographic materials contain photographs, negatives and slides depicting subjects such as Howe’s education, family, art works, military service, and employment at the University of South Dakota.

Dates

  • 1915 - 2016

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection contains some restricted material. Performance reviews are restricted. Researchers are advised to contact the Archives and Special Collections prior to visiting.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers must obtain a signed Permission to Publish Form if they wish to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information from published and unpublished works held by ASC. Permission to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information materials from ASC does not constitute permission from the holder of copyright or literary rights. The researcher is responsible for securing permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce content from materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Yanktonai Dakota artist Oscar Howe was born May 13, 1915 at Joe Creek on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota to George Howe and Ella Not Afraid of Bear. He was named Mazuha Hokshina, “Trader Boy.” He left Pierre Indian School in 1935 and attended Santa Fe Indian School entering The Studio, an art program established by Dorothy Dunn. After graduation in 1938 he worked as an art instructor at the Pierre Indian School before joining the South Dakota Works Progress Administration as a mural artist in Mitchell and Mobridge, South Dakota. From 1942 to 1945 Howe served in the United States Army in the European Theatre. While in Germany he met Adelheid (Heidi) Hampel; they married in 1947. Their daughter Inge Dawn was born in 1948. From 1948 through 1971 he designed panels for the Mitchell Corn Palace. Howe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1952 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Oklahoma in 1954. He taught at Pierre High School until 1957 and then became artist-in-residence and professor of art at the University of South Dakota from 1957 through 1980 before retiring as Professor Emeritus of the Department of Art in 1980. Oscar Howe died in 1983.

Oscar Howe’s art was exhibited all over the world including numerous one-man shows. He earned many honors and awards including honoree on the television program This is Your Life in 1960, Artist Laureate of South Dakota in 1960, U.S. Department of State Lecturer to the Near East and South Asia in 1971, the South Dakota Governor’s Award for Creative Achievement in 1973, the Waite Philips Trophy for Outstanding Contributions to American Indian Art and numerous prizes in the Indian Annual Exhibition from the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Early in his career Howe moved away from the style of painting taught at the Santa Fe Indian School for a more abstract style. It was characterized by bright color, motion and pristine lines. He aspired to bridge tradition with the contemporary world to communicate Indian values and ideas and to break out of stereotypes imposed on Indian artists.

Adelheid (Heidi) Hampel Howe: wife Inge Dawn Howe Maresh: daughter Waltraut Hamel Kondert: Heidi’s sister Clara Howe, Eleanor Howe, Judith Howe, Leslie Howe, Reynold Howe, and Walter Howe: Howe’s brother and his family Edward Howe and Walter Howe: Howe’s brothers George Howe: Howe’s father Ella Not Afraid of Bear Howe: Howe’s mother Not Afraid of Bear (Fearless Bear): Howe’s maternal grandfather Bone Necklace: Howe’s paternal great grandfather White Ghost: Howe’s paternal great uncle Don’t Know Howe (On Spe Sni): Howe’s paternal grandfather

Extent

63.50 Linear Feet (79 document boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

The Oscar Howe papers contain material related to the life and artwork of the artist Oscar Howe, including his teaching career at the University of South Dakota.

Arrangement

This collection is divided into 3 subgroups: University papers, family papers, and photographic materials.

Subgroup 1: University papers, 1915-2016

Series I: Administrative files, 1946-2015 Series II: Chronology files, 1915-2010 Series III: Publications, 1944-1998 Subseries 1: Writings, 1974-1997 Subseries 2: Awards and honors, 1968-1982 Subseries 3: Exhibitions, 1953-1998 Subseries 4: Howe works, 1944-1991 Subseries 5: Howe mentions, 1959-1985 Subseries 6: Brochures, 1967-1991 Series IV: Research files, 1930-2007 Series V: News clippings, 1960-1996 Series VI: Teaching career, 1950-1982 Series VII: Oral History, 1954-1995 Series VIII: Audio-visual materials, 1940-2005 Subseries 1: Audio, 1953-2005 Subseries 2: Video, 1940-2002 Series IX: Oversize, 2015-2016

Subgroup 2: Family papers, 1903-2011

Series I: Biographical and personal, 1933-2011 Series II: Teaching materials, 1965-1976 Series III: Art career, 1947-2005 Series IV: Honors and awards, 1947-1981 Series V: Correspondence, 1947-2010 Series VI: American Specialist, 1971 Series VII: Subject files, 1935-2011 Series VIII: Publications, 1959-2010 Subseries 1: Writings, 1959-2010 Subseries 2: Howe works, 1960-1995 Series IX: Howe library, 1903-2005 Series X: News clippings, 1941-1997 Series XI: Audio-visual materials, 1960-1970 Series XII: Oversize

Subgroup 3: Photographic materials, 1900-2010 (bulk dates, 1935-1983)

Series I: Black and White Photographs, 1900-1990 Subseries 1: Awards/Special Recognition Subseries 2: Copy Photographs/Proof Sheets Subseries 3: Education Subseries 4: Family Subseries 5: Gravesite Subseries 6: Howe and Unidentified Subseries 7: Military Subseries 8: Miscellaneous Subseries 9: Museums/Gallery Spaces Subseries 10: Oscar Howe Retrospective Exhibition Subseries 11: “Oscar Howe: The Sioux Painter” Subseries 12: Professional Employment Subseries 13: Unidentified Subseries 14: Works Subseries 15: Oversize

Series II: Color Photographs, 1934-2010 Subseries 1: Awards/Special Recognition Subseries 2: Family Subseries 3: Gravesite Subseries 4: Howe and Unidentified Subseries 5: Miscellaneous Subseries 6: Museums/Gallery Spaces Subseries 7: Oscar Howe Elementary School Subseries 8: Oscar Howe Memorial Lecture Subseries 9: Professional Employment Subseries 10: Unidentified Subseries 11: Works

Series III: Photographs with Conservation Concerns, 1935-1981 Subseries 1: Awards/Special Recognition Subseries 2: Copy Photographs/Proof Sheets Subseries 3: Education Subseries 4: Family Subseries 5: Miscellaneous Subseries 6: Museums/Gallery Spaces Subseries 7: Professional Employment Subseries 8: Works Subseries 9: Unidentified Subseries 10: Oversize

Series IV: Black and White Negatives (Cold Storage), 1919-1983 Subseries 1: Awards/Special Recognition Subseries 2: Education Subseries 3: Family Subseries 4: Military Subseries 5: Miscellaneous Subseries 6: Oscar Howe Retrospective Exhibition Subseries 7: Professional Employment Subseries 8: Unidentified Subseries 9: Works

Series V: Color Negatives (Cold Storage), 1940-1980s Subseries 1: Family Subseries 2: Miscellaneous Subseries 3: Museums/Gallery Spaces Subseries 4: Professional Employment Subseries 5: Works

Series VI: Slides, 1915-1982 Subseries 1: Awards/Special Recognition Subseries 2: Education Subseries 3: Family Subseries 4: Military Subseries 5: Miscellaneous Subseries 6: Museums/Gallery Spaces Subseries 7: Oscar Howe Retrospective Exhibition Subseries 8: Professional Employment Subseries 9: Unidentified Subseries 10: Works

Series VII: Identification Photocopies Subseries 1: Black and White Photographs Subseries 2: Color Photographs Subseries 3: Photographs with Conservation Concerns Subseries 4: Albums
Title
Oscar Howe papers
Status
Completed
Author
Doris Peterson and Lisa Duncan
Date
2016 July
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the USD Archives and Special Collections Repository

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