Most people assume Native American ledger art was limited to the North American Great Plains. Known for their colorful and realistic depiction of Indigenous life, these drawings were socially validated and extremely accurate. They show landscapes and couples courting. They display prisoners of war and the brutality of combat. Many assume this tradition ceased in the late 1800s making the sketches created by Brummett Echohawk, a Pawnee Soldier in the American 45th Infantry Division, not only important historical resources, but part of an artistic and social legacy dating back thousands of years in North America. Sketching soldiers from Germany, Japan, India, Algeria, as well as soldiers from many different Native American nations serving in the 45th Infantry Division, Brummett Echohawk brings a unique perspective to the history of art and war. His viewpoint is personal and unparalleled. He drew the battles he fought and the friends he lost—something not known to have been done by an indigenous artist since the late 1800s.
This exhibition is being completed in partnership with Oklahoma State University Departments of History and Art History and is curated by Dr. Eric Singleton (NCWHM) and Dr. David D’Andrea (OSU).