Storytelling Time: Native North American Art from the Collections at the University of North Dakota
The lavishly illustrated 242-page book examines how a university's collection of Native North American Art is understood and appreciated within its campus setting.
With great respect for how the Native American people use and cherish these objects, this book documents an extraordinary collection of clothing, headdresses, and ceremonial objects, many of which incorporate exquisite bead and quill work. Many objects presented are pieces their Native American owners did not consider objects of art, but instead viewed them as symbols of status, identity, or ceremony. Often pieces are a connection between the past and future, and handed down from one generation to the next. In addition to the older pieces, contemporary native artwork is also featured.
According to Arthur F. Jones, founding Director of UND Art Collections, "the Native American art is among the most extensive collections we have at the University and we are mindful of cultural issues involving this art, such as respect, appropriateness in terms of how the objects are handled, what can be photographed, and what can be put on exhibition."
The book project clearly demonstrated the research purpose for a collection. A key issue involved understanding past and current philosophies of collecting Native American art. The production of the book involved considerable study of the objects themselves, the collection as a whole, and an examination of how the artworks are understood from one department to another.
In 2011, the book received significant attention when it was honored with a Gold Medal and designated an "Outstanding Book of the Year" by Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY Awards). This designation only went to 13 books out of a field of nearly 4000 books in the competition.
The Collaborative Project
The book's authors were Arthur F. Jones, Lucy A. Ganje, and Nelda Schrupp. Leigh D. Jeanotte wrote the Introduction. Lucy Ganje designed the book and several other Native and non-Native persons contributed to the collaborative research project. Several UND students were also involved as research and design assistants.