A Tale of Woe and Glory ('The New York Review of Books')

In “The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through May 10, “a kind of twilight invites silence,” writes Thomas Powers, a visiting professor in Dartmouth’s Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies program, in a review published by The New York Review of Books.

That twilight, he says, is necessary because much of the art in the show is painted on tanned hides, using natural dyes that are subject to fading in sunlight. “But the twilight also seems right for what remains of a culture so utterly confounded by the invasion of richer, better-armed people with robust immune systems and an obsession with building fences,” writes Powers, author of The Killing of Crazy Horse, published in 2010.

The show’s catalog, writes Powers, contains an “impressively lively and comprehensive essay” by Colin Calloway, the John Kimball Jr. 1943 Professor of History and a professor of Native American studies.