Saturday, September 24, 2022

National Museum of the American Indian, exhibits “Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe,”

Just as Native American cultures have evolved and changed over centuries, so also have their artistic expressions, reflecting Indigenous diversity and innovation. 

At the National Museum of the American Indian, we strive to reflect this reality through traveling exhibitions such as “Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe,” recently on view at our museum in New York City and scheduled to open at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon, on October 29. 

Featuring the paintings of Yanktonai Dakota artist Oscar Howe—including “Fighting Bucks,” our September Object of the Month—this retrospective exhibition explores Howe’s commitment to blending cultural tradition with artistic innovation, illuminating his legacy as one of the most influential contemporary Native American painters and an inspiration for generations of Native artists. 

Along with the exhibition, there is a companion catalog that contains photos of nearly 150 of Howe’s works alongside 50 personal photographs of the artist at work and with family, tracing the development of his work from his early career in the 1930s to the emergence of his modernist style in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Oscar Howe was born in 1915 on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in central South Dakota. As a child, he spent time in the care of his grandmother Shell Face, whose teachings about Dakota culture and beliefs served as a source of inspiration for not only his artistic process—which was rooted in Očhéthi Šakówiŋ language, aesthetics, and philosophy—but also his commitment to researching his cultural background. 

Howe attended high school in the 1930s at the Santa Fe Indian School, where non-Native instructors taught students the techniques of “traditional” Native American painting. 

Later, throughout college and graduate school, Howe gained exposure to mainstream Western artistic methods and began developing his own unique style, which involved experimenting with geometric abstraction and incorporating Dakota cultural, historical, and spiritual themes. Howe rooted his compositional technique in these themes and called it “tahokmu,” related to the Dakota term “tȟahóȟmuŋ,” which refers to a protective spiderweb. 

This technique can be seen in Howe’s 1958 painting, “Umine Wacipi,” or “War and Peace Dance,” an energetic scene in which the figures’ movement is mimicked by the lightning-like quality of the rock formations and trees that surround them as they chant, dance, and reach upward. 

Howe submitted the piece to the then-Philbrook Art Center for its “Indian Annual” painting competition and exhibition. The judges rejected his work, deeming it “not Indian.” Howe responded with a letter, that read, in part: 

Are we to be held back forever with one phase of Indian painting that is the most common way? Are we to be herded like a bunch of sheep, with no right for individualism, dictated to as the Indian has always been, put on reservations and treated like a child and only the White Man knows what is best for him... but one could easily turn to become a social protest painter. I only hope the Art World will not be one more contributor to holding us in chains. 

In taking a public stand against the mainstream art world, which was heavily mediated by white institution heads and critics, Howe paved a new way for Indigenous artists of his time and beyond. But Howe’s place in the art world wasn’t always so charged. 

Oscar Howe
Oscar Howe papers, Richardson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, University Libraries, University of South Dakota

For much of his career, Howe was an educator, teaching at Dakota Wesleyan University as he earned his bachelor’s degree, then at a public high school in Pierre, South Dakota, in the 1950s. In 1957, he joined the faculty at the University of South Dakota (USD) in Vermillion, where he taught until 1980. 

As a professor at USD, Howe continued painting, creating works like “Wounded Knee Massacre.” Using stark, yet naturalistic, colors to distinguish the figures from one another and the landscape, Howe depicts the brutality the Lakota endured at the hands of the U.S. Army at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota on December 29, 1890. In total, 300 Lakota men, women, and children were killed. 

“[It] was not meant to be a shocker but merely a recorded true event,” Howe said of the piece. 

Ultimately, Howe’s intention—to challenge the notion that there ever has been a standard definition when it comes to Native art and expression—is made clear through his life, words, and work. 

You can see images of Howe’s work and read more about “Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe” in the spring 2022 issue of American Indian magazine. 

David Saunders Signature
David Saunders
Director of Membership 

P.S. The museum is dedicated to working with Native peoples and their allies to foster a more informed understanding of Native and Indigenous history and cultures. We are grateful for your generosity and financial support, which allows us to elevate and honor Indigenous peoples' contributions to our nation’s history, present, and future through education, inspiration, and empowerment.


50 Years: The Bronx Museum Artist Open Call! 2023 AIM FELLOWSHIP Application Deadline: October 17, 2022!



Bronx Calling

Artist Open Call!

Application Deadline: October 17, 2022

The Bronx Museum of the Arts is accepting applications for the 43rd cycle of the AIM Fellowship program. The AIM Fellowship provides no-cost career-boosting resources to New York City-based visual artists who are at the early stages of their careersand seek to make a serious commitment to creative expression as a professional artist.

Through an intensive series of professional development seminars and network-building activities, selected artists are offered intimate access to leading experts and cultural producers who guide artists on the practicalities of developing a sustainable art practice. AIM's practical guidance has helped over 1,300 New York City artists establish their art careers including graduates Njideka Akunyili-Crosby, Polly Apfelbaum, Abigail DeVille, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Pablo Helguera, Byron Kim, Glenn Ligon, Joiri Minaya, Sarah Oppenheimer, Lucia Hierro, Erik Parker, Jacolby Satterwhite, and Anton Vidokle, among many others.

Image: Bronx Calling: The Fifth AIM Biennial curated by Eva Mayhabal Davis and Ian Cofre. Photo by Argenis Apolinario.


Teen Council

TC Photo

Join the Fall 2022 cohort! Applications now open!

Application deadline: October 3, 2022

The Bronx Museum is seeking teens (ages 14-19) for a three-month paid internship. Explore the arts, contribute to and learn from a contemporary art museum, and collaborate with your peers, all while improving your resume!



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Free Screening

Thursday, October 6, 2022 | 6:00 - 8:00 PM

In partnership with the 60th New York Film Festival, The Bronx Museum presents a free screening of Drylongso directed by Cauleen Smith.

Smith’s 1998 feature debut, a landmark in American independent cinema, follows Pica (Toby Smith), a woman in a photography class in Oakland, as she begins photographing young Black men of her neighborhood, having witnessed so many of them fall victim to senseless murder and fearing the possibility of their becoming extinct altogether. An enduringly rich work of DIY filmmaking, Drylongso remains a resonant and visionary examination of violence (and its reverberations), friendship, and gender. A Janus Films release. 4K restoration undertaken by The Criterion Collection, Janus Films and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Supervised by Director Cauleen Smith. The NYFF60 Revivals presentation of Drylongso is sponsored by Turner Classic Movies.

Ticket quantities are limited. Check-in begins at 5:15 pm. Doors open at 5:30 pm.

Image credit: Still courtesy of Janus Films

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Ova the Rainbow 2009 01 copy

In celebration of Abigail DeVille: Bronx Heavens

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 | 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Music by DJ Ultraviolet with sound support from engineer Karl Scholz and special galactic-inspired desserts by Sarah K. Williams.

Spanning over a decade of work, Abigail DeVille: Bronx Heavensexamines the myths and realities of local, familial and ancestral histories and the convoluted notion of freedom in a country fraught with oppression and racism. This survey features DeVille’s rarely exhibited earlier works as well as new large-scale immersive installations and sculptures that transform the galleries into a cosmic space—taking us on a journey from the ancient past to an imagined future. The Bronx has served as a sanctuary for immigrant and migrant communities, including for the artist and several generations of her family who have lived in the area and were part of the Great Migration. DeVille’s work unearths forgotten narratives of communities of color and explores issues of identity, culture, and class.

Image: Abigail DeVille, Ova the Rainbow, 2009. Found canvas print, rubber roaches, staples, plaster, paint, synthetic hair, eyelashes. Courtesy of the artist.

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Jamel Shabazz: Eyes on the Street

On view through Sunday, October 2, 2022 (extended)

Starting at the young age of fifteen, Brooklyn born photographer Jamel Shabazz identified early on the core subject of his lifelong investigation: the people who invest the streets of New York with a high degree of theater and style, mixing traditions and cultures.

A formidable archive of New York’s communities in the outer boroughs, this exhibition pays homage to Shabazz’s illustrious career of over forty years documenting the vibrant interaction of New Yorkers with their neighborhoods.

Image: Jamel Shabazz. Looking to the Future. Flatbush, Brooklyn, 1980. Courtesy of the artist.



Free COVID-19 Home Test Kits for Pick Up!

Every Tuesday | 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

The Bronx Museum of the Arts has joined several cultural institutions around New York City in distributing FREE at-home COVID-19 test kits in partnership with NYC Test & Trace Corps. The kits are available for pick up at the Museum on Tuesdays between 1:00 and 4:00pm while supplies last. Stay tuned for updates and read more on our website HERE.



Abigail DeVille: Bronx Stories is part of Our Stories, Our Voices––a year-long series of exhibitions and public programs celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Bronx Museum of the Arts. To mark this milestone we are celebrating the cultural wealth of our communities and bringing to light the stories, voices, and visions of artists seeking a more just and equitable world.

Thank you to our generous supporters without whom our 50th Anniversary programming would not be possible.

Anonymous; Lily Auchincloss Foundation; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Anne Delaney; Agnes Gund; William Talbott Hillman Foundation; Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust; Sciame Construction, LLC; May & Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.; and, the Bronx Museum’s Board of Trustees. List in formation.

50th Anniversary Funders as of 4.7.2022

Jamel Shabazz: Eyes on the Street is made possible by the lead sponsorship of an anonymous patron and the additional support of Derrick Adams, Dana Emmott, Joseph Mizzi, Melissa Osterwind, Steve Shapiro, and SRI Fine Art Services. Special thanks to Griffin Editions, and Faith Art Gallery.


The Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago presents a CineConcert Oct9, or 13, details below.

Inferno 1911

The Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago presents a CineConcert featuring the groundbreaking 1911 silent film "L’Inferno," accompanied live by Stefano Maccagno (piano) and Furio Di Castri (double bass) on the mesmerizing musical score composed by Maestro Maccagno.

Sunday, October 9 at 4:30pm CT
Music Box Theatre
3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL
This event is presented in partnership with Chicago International Film Festival


Thursday, October 13 at 7:00pm CT
Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
2419 E. Kenwood Blvd, Milwaukee, WI

"L'Inferno" is a 1911 Italian silent film, loosely adapted from the first canticle of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. The movie took over three years to make, and was the first full-length Italian feature film ever produced. L'Inferno's depictions of Hell closely followed those in the engravings of Gustave Doré for an edition of the Divine Comedy, which were familiar to an international audience. The movie production also employed several special effects, some of which were considered groundbreaking at the time, establishing the movie as a leader in innovation of cinematic techniques.

Red more about L'Inferno

Stefano Maccagno

Pianist, composer, conductor, professor of improvisation, orchestration, composition and orchestration of music for images. He is the official composer of the National Cinema Museum of Turin, for which he has composed and orchestrated the music for numerous silent cinema masterpieces including Cabiria, Royal Tiger, Maciste, The Whispering Chorus, Blood and Sand. Read more

Furio Di Castri

Born in Milano 1955, self-taught double bassist, he records his first album in 1973 (Dedalus – Trident rec.) at the age of 17. Since 2001 he is professor in double bass at the Jazz Department of Turin Music Conservatory. Furio Di Castri has recorded over 200 albums – 20 as band leader - and has performed internationally for many years.  Read more

Become a member!
Learn Italian with Us!

Gerald Peters Contemporary New York, opens, Creative Legacy Now-November 2, 2022


Artists Space will transform its building’s lower level into a highly responsive, shape-shifting venue for live and durational art of all forms, with free admission.


Beginning October 2022 and continuing for one year, Artists Space will transform its building’s lower level into a highly responsive, shape-shifting venue for live and durational art of all forms, with free admission. In addition to our program of ambitious exhibitions, this new initiative reflects the multitude of ways in which artists are now making their work and responds to the clear need for increased opportunities for performing artists. Programs will include residencies and concerts for musicians, site-specific choreography commissions, poetry readings, performances, curatorial collaborations with artists, video, film and sound installations, cabaret evenings, and temporal events of all kinds. The precedents, innovations, and experiments of this year will inform an even more holistic inclusion of performance in the future across all the institution's spaces. 

[An image of a large and empty room with off-white walls, which are illuminated from above by track lights. In the middle of the room, three large columns stretch from the floor to the ceiling.]

Upcoming events with more to be announced soon:

Tisziji Muñoz with Francisco Mora Catlett
October 21

Chorus: A Sound Poetry Festival
November 10-11
Performances by: Thomas Buckner, Asha Sheshadri, Julie Patton, Mike Pollard & Eric Schmid, Sydney Spann, Suzanne Langille with Loren Connors, Charlie Morrow, Kiera Mulhern, Azikiwe Mohammed, Joan La Barbara, and an audio installation by Nour Mobarak

November 16-19

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December 14, 16, 18

Ongoing Series:

Abasement Concert Series
First Monday of each month this fall: October 3, November 7, December 5
October 3: Corsano/Holmes/Nace Trio, Ka Baird, Leah Bertucci, and Mick Barr, with DJ’s Jaiko Suzuki and Tran Huynh, and visuals by Bradley Eros

Segue Reading Series
Saturdays at 5pm
October and November Curators: Nightboat
Oct 1: Allison Cobb & Camille Roy
Oct 8: Kimberly Alidio & Rae Armantrout
Oct 15: Andrea Abi-Karam, Eduardo Kac & Montana Ray
Oct 22: Samiya Bashir & Jasmine Gibson
Oct 29: Wo Chan & Ronaldo V. Wilson
Nov 5: Emily Lee Luan & imogen xtian smith
Nov 12: Chia-Lun Chang & Rosie Stockton
Nov 19: Sueyeun Juliette Lee & Brian Teare

Check back for further programming updates here.


Artists Space is fully accessible via a wheelchair lift and automated door in front of the entrance on 80 White Street. The cellar gallery can be accessed via the ground floor elevator. Artists Space welcomes assistance dogs, and has wheelchair accessible non-gender-segregated toilet facilities. If you have any further questions about access please email


Artists Space Venue is generously supported by Stephen Cheng, Lonti Ebers, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Allan Schwartzman, and David Zwirner.