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Grant number like: FT-51632-03

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Elizabeth Hutchinson
Barnard College (New York, NY 10027-6909)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2003 – 7/31/2003

Progressivist Primitivism: Gender and Nationalism and Native American Art, 1890-1915

Between 1890 and 1914, writers seeking an American art that would resolve anxieties about contemporary cultural, political and economic changes celebrated Native American art and urged artists and craftspeople to copy indigenous designs. Native intellectuals used this interest to influence Indian policy, mastering the language of early modernism in an attempt to negotiate a modern Indian identity. Combining the tools of visual studies, feminism and postcolonialism, my book reinserts this neglected but important chapter in the history of American modernism. I relate the Indian Craze to cultural debates about gender and nationalism, art education, handicrafts, and the merits of abstraction, and Native American civil rights struggles.