Spring 2021

Contemporary Native American Art

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-211  |  Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-180


Chris Couch (Section 01)


(Offered as ARHA 180 and AMST 211) This course will examine works of art created by Native American artists, including painting, sculpture, photography, and performance and installation art, from the late nineteenth century to today.  Students will study important movements and consider individual artists who worked primarily as painters, including the Iroquois realists of the late nineteenth century; the Studio School of Southwestern artists, printmakers, and illustrators; the Kiowa Six and their important role in creating modern Native American murals; abstract expressionists like Kay Walkingstick (Cherokee); Pop artists like Fritz Scholder (Luiseno) and Harry Fonseca (Nisenan Maidu); and Conceptual artists such as Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne). Major Native American contemporary photographers include Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke (Crow)), Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (Seminole-Diné), and Horace Poolaw (Kiowa). The course will also consider sculptors working in realistic (Alan Houser, Blackbear Bosin) and abstract styles (Rick Bartow, Tammy Garcia); performance artists like James Luna and Rebecca Belmore; important emerging artists like the interdisciplinary activist/arts collective Postcommodity; and Angel de Cora, the first Native American graduate of Smith College, the 150th anniversary of whose birth will be marked in 2021.

This class will be taught in-person, with the option to join by Zoom.

Limited to 34 students. Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Couch.

If Overenrolled: Priority to seniors, then ARHA and AMST majors


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Research, Fine Arts for Non-majors, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Spring 2021