John Willis Collection of Lakota Art
Description of the Collection
Drawings and inkjet prints of drawings created by Lakota artists, 2008-2017, as well as art produced by others related to protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, 2016-2019. Artists represented in the collection include Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy, III, Quinton Maldonado, Joe Pulliam, and Dwayne Wilcox. It includes 25 original drawings as well as 20 inkjet prints of drawings. More than half of the works created by the artists integrate paper from ledgers. Six works related to protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline chiefly consists of screen-prints on cloth, which includes an example designed by Dignidad Rebelde, a collaborative graphic arts project of Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes.
Collection is organized with drawings and inkjet prints under the names of Lakota artists.
- Willis, John, 1957- (Collector)
- Wilcox, Dwayne (Artist)
- Pulliam, Joe (Artist)
- Maldonado, Quinton, 1982- (Artist)
- Kills Pretty Enemy, Gilbert, III (Artist)
Conditions Governing Access
The John Willis Collection of Lakota Art is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from John Willis on the Walter McClintock Memorial Fund, 2020.
Organized into five series: I. Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy, III, 2016. II. Quinton Maldonado, 2015-2016. III. Joe Pulliam, 2017-2019. IV. Dwayne Wilcox, 2008-2016. V. Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Art, 2016-2019.
13.7 Linear Feet (8 boxes, 1 broadside)
Language of Materials
Drawings and inkjet prints of drawings created by Lakota artists, 2008-2017, as well as art produced by others related to protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, 2016-2019. Artists represented in the collection include Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy, III, Quinton Maldonado, Joe Pulliam, and Dwayne Wilcox. It includes 25 original drawings as well as 20 inkjet prints of drawings. More than half of the works created by the artists integrate ledger paper. Six works related to protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline chiefly consists of screen-prints on cloth, which includes an example designed by Dignidad Rebelde, a collaborative graphic arts project of Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes.
John Willis (born 1957)
John Willis is a documentary photographer and emeritus professor of photography at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont. His monographs include Recycled Realities, co-authored with Tom Young (Center for American Places, 2002), Views from the Reservation (Center for American Places, 2010), and Mni Wiconi - Water Is Life Honoring the Water Protectors at Standing Rock and Everywhere in the Ongoing Struggle for Indigenous Sovereignty (Staunton, Virginia: George F. Thompson Publishing, 2019). Willis has photographs in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, among others. He is also a co-founder with Bill Ledger of the In-Sight Photography Project, a photography outreach project to youth in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy, III (born 1979)
Gilbert Andrew Kills Pretty Enemy, Ill, is a Hunkpapa Lakota artist from the Standing Rock Reservation. His artwork includes drawing, graphic art, silk screening, tattooing, tribal art, wood burning and painting. He earned two associate degrees from United Tribes Technical College including art marketing in 2001 and small business management in 2005. He is the founder of Chameleon Horse Art & Design at McLaughlin, South Dakota.
Quinton Maldonado (born 1982)
Quinton Jack Whiting Maldonado is an Oglala and Sicangu artist. As a child, he lived on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with his maternal grandparents Margaret Chips Jack Maldonado (1914-1987) and Manuel Vasquez Maldonado (1922-1989). He has created art since childhood, and after viewing the work of Donald F. Montileaux (born 1948) while in high school, Maldonado has studied and created ledger drawings.
Joe Pulliam (born 1968)
Patrick Joel Pulliam, also known as Akicita Tokahe (First Soldier/ Warrior), is an Oglala Lakota artist born at Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and raised in the Oglala Lakota Nation at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. After service in the United States Army, in 2003 Pulliam began in-depth studies of his Lakota heritage and focused on ledger drawing after an introduction by artist Daniel Long Soldier (born 1949).
Dwayne Wilcox (born 1957)
Dwayne "Chuck" Wilcox is an Oglala Lakota artist born at Kadoka, South Dakota, and raised at Wanblee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He served in the United States military. A self-taught artist, Wilcox created his first commissioned artwork in 1974 and transitioned to a fulltime art career in 1987 with an emphasis on ledger drawings. Example of his work are collected in Visual/Language: The Ledger Drawings of Dwayne Wilcox (Staunton, Virginia: George F. Thompson Publishing, 2021), edited by Karen Miller Nearburg.
Ledger drawings are traditionally representational drawings of scenes from the lives of nineteenth century Plains Indians, with an emphasis on martial accomplishments. Ledger drawings were so named for the ruled ledger books in which they were often executed which the creators obtained from soldiers or traders. Many twentieth century and twenty-first century Native American artists have also integrated ledgers in their work.
Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit. These materials have been arranged and described according to national and local standards. For more information, please refer to the Beinecke Manuscript Unit Processing Manual.
- Dakota Access Pipeline -- Pictorial works
- Drawings (visual works)
- Indian arts -- North America
- Indians of North America -- Pictorial works
- Indians of North America -- Political activity -- Pictorial works
- Inkjet prints
- Ledger drawings
- Protest movements -- North Dakota -- Pictorial works
- Standing Rock Indian Reservation (N.D. and S.D.)
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North & South Dakota -- Pictorial works
- Guide to the John Willis Collection of Lakota Art
- Matthew Daniel Mason
- June 2021
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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