Artist: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
Title: Trade (Gifts for Trading Land with White People), 1992
Oil and mixed media, Collage, Objects, Canvas
60 x 170 in. (152.4 x 431.8 cm)
1992 marked the five-hundredth anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. In response to the traditional celebrations, many American Indians and activists made sure that the art world knew there was another side to this historic event. Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, a member of the Flathead Nation in Western Montana, created a series of paintings called “The Quincentenary Non-Celebration.” Trade is one of those pieces. It is organized into two parts: a horizontal chain strung with symbols of Americanized “Indian” stereotypes such as toy tomahawks and moccasins, and three panels displaying images of the survival of traditional beliefs.