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Archive for March, 2012

R.O.T.C. cadets

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets in March of 1965 who participated in pilots training.

USD Photograph Collection, Series 10 no. 8785.1

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The University String Quartet comprised of Usher Abell (violin), Robert Marek (viola), Margaret DeVilbiss (violin), and Leona Marek (cello) performing May 7, 1960 at the inaugural Creative Arts Festival.

The first Creative Arts Festival was held May 6, 7, and 8, 1960. Created by Dean of Fine Arts Warren M. (Doc) Lee, the festival included artists, composers, writers, and poets from the region and included art exhibitions, concerts, performances, readings and theatre productions. Dr. Lee’s motivation was to gather a community of creativity and to allow artists “to get better acquainted with one another and to see and hear what others are doing.”

In a letter penned by Oscar Howe to the Joslyn Art Museum director dated March 17, 1960, Howe comments, “eventually, I think we can bring about through the University a Creative Arts Colony in the Black Hills, as a place for creative workers of this region.” Unlike the Black Hills Playhouse, which had been operating for 14 years before Howe’s letter, the Creative Arts Colony did not come to be.

The Archives and Special Collections has records for the Creative Arts Festival through 1966.

–          USD Photograph Collection, Series 10, Box 57, 6915.4

–          Warren M. Lee Papers, Box 23 and 24, Richardson Collection

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Oscar Howe works on piece, 1960

Nearing the completion of processing photographs from the Oscar Howe Collection, I came across the above photograph and became curious about how Howe’s interactions with Native American and European artistic traditions impacted his work. The angular planes, geometry, and abstraction that appear in Howe’s art have led many critics to claim European Modernism (specifically Cubism), was Howe’s prime artistic influence. For instance, Bea Medicine and J.J. Brody both described Howe as a “neo” or “post-Cubist.”  In agreement, John Anson Warner wrote, “Oscar Howe brought into his painting new forms hitherto unknown in North American Indian art…Howe dramatically changed his art after experiencing such Modernist paradigms as Cubist and Abstract-expressionism. During World War II, he spent three and one-half years in the Army; while in Europe, he was exposed to the Cubist art of Matisse, Picasso, and Braque” (Warner 13).

Throughout his career, Howe encountered similar readings of his work. In 1958, the jurors of the Philbrook Indian Art Annuals rejected Howe’s painting, Umine Wacipe: War and Peace Dance, from their annual competition on the basis that it did not conform to the Studio style, the widely agreed upon style of traditional Native American art that was popular during the early 20th Century. According to Bill Anthes, the Studio style, “emphasized flat, linear patterns, and unmodulated earth colors uncontaminated by Western pictorial techniques such as shading and perspective…Further, authentic Indian painting was to be illustrational and ethnographically correct: artists were only to represent members of their own tribes or regions…The organizers of the Philbrook annual believed that the standards that enforced these essential traits guaranteed the authenticity and value of Native American painting at a time when they feared that Indian cultures were disappearing” (Anthes 142). As Anthes notes, what troubled Howe and other Native American artists of his generation about the Studio style was not only that it was aesthetically restrictive, but also that it was developed  to please White patrons and failed to represent the modern lived experiences of Native American tribes and individuals. “Many artists began to see the flat, pastel illustrations of traditional life as an imposed aesthetic that merely catered to non-Native audience’s desire for untroubled images of traditional Indian cultures…The Studio style was seen as a simplistic stereotype that elided tribal differences, repressed individual expression, and was out of touch with contemporary Native lives, which by now encompassed military service, urban wage labor, mainstream education, and increasing activism” (Anthes 143). Howe’s response to the rejection became like a manifesto for Native American artists frustrated by the constraints of the Studio style:

Who ever said that my paintings are not in the traditional Indian style has poor knowledge of Indian art indeed. There is much more to Indian Art than pretty, stylized pictures. There was also power and strength and individualism (emotional and intellectual insight ) in the old Indian paintings. Every bit in my paintings is a true, studied fact of Indian paintings. Are we to be held back forever with one phase of Indian painting, with no right for individualism, dictated to as the Indian has always been, put on reservations and treated like a child, and only the White Man knows what is best for him?  Now, even in Art, ‘You little child do what we think is best for you, nothing different.” Well, I am not going to stand for it. Indian Art can compete with any Art in the world, but not as a suppressed Art….–Oscar Howe, Letter to Philbrook Indian Art Annuals Jurors as quoted by Jeanne Snodgrass King in “The Preeminence of Oscar Howe,” 17

Rejection on the basis that his art was somehow non-traditional or inauthentic must have been particularly painful for Howe; he considered his work wholly derivative of Native American (specifically Dakota) artistic traditions. For example, the jagged shapes and abstractions that critics often read as Cubist were actually “a continuation of geometrical point-and-line compositional device that he (Howe) referred to as tahokmu, or the ‘spiderweb,’ in which designs are generated by a web-like network of points…Howe explained that traditional designs were ‘diamond shaped with one deer hoof track design at each end, that is left and right horizontally symmetrical.  From this design comes all geometric designs…'” (Anthes 166).  Furthermore, Howe not only used this design in its original form, but also adjusted and visually manipulated it to convey greater emotional dynamism in his work.  Howe also contended that his artistic process was in step with the formal painting ceremony of the Sioux, during which a group of initiates witnessed a painter translate the words of a storyteller into visual symbols. For Howe, who explained that his process was also a response to Dakota language and storytelling, the main difference between his work and the traditional painting ceremony was that his symbols and abstractions were individualistic reactions to contemporary Native life. “Howe argued that Indian artists were accepted and integrated members of Native societies and understood as members of the community who shared the community’s values and whose art represented those values. Even if the artist developed a personal, individualistic, innovative art…it was still perceived as an expression of the artist’s individual culture.” (Anthes 165). It was in this way that Howe saw himself, not necessarily as a creator of a new style of art, but as an artist and innovator who contributed to the continuation and further evolution of traditional Native American art that would have occurred had it not been for stagnating effects of the Studio style.

The Dakota art of painting-its medium technique, process, subject matter, and its qualitative aspects-has given me direction, purpose, substance, and art, an art which is still in its original form, originality unblemished and unquestionably a true reflection of culture, not a bastardly exploitation. Being a Dakota with a background of Dakota culture I felt I should continue the art. To use the ways and means of Dakota art for continuity and still keep the essence of Indian art was paramount in my quest for expression.  In order to stabilize and validate this it must work with or from the traditions and conventions. Its components remain Dakota to the core regardless of individualization of art (Howe 76-77).

To learn more about Oscar Howe or to view some of his works, please visit the Oscar Howe Gallery at the University of South Dakota.

Oscar Howe composing a painting in his studio, 1960’s

–Information gathered from:   Anthes, Bill. Native Moderns: American Indian Painting, 1940-1960. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006. 142-166. Print; Brody, Jerome. Indian Painters & White Patrons.Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1971. 172. Print; Howe, Oscar. “Theories and Beliefs–Dakota.” South Dakota Review. 2.2 (1969): 76-77. PrintMedicine, Bea.“Oscar Howe and the Sioux.” Oscar Howe: A Retrospective Exhibition, Catalogue Raisonne. Ed. Dockstader, Fredrick J. Tulsa: Thomas Gilcrease Museum Association, 1982. 15-16. Print; Snodgrass-King, Jeanne. “The Preeminence of Oscar Howe.” Oscar Howe: A Retrospective Exhibition, Catalogue Raisonne. Ed. Dockstader, Fredrick J. Tulsa: Thomas Gilcrease Museum Association, 1982. 17-19.  Warner, John Anson. “The Sociological Art of Oscar Howe.” Oscar Howe: A Retrospective Exhibition, Catalogue Raisonne. Ed. Dockstader, Fredrick J. Tulsa: Thomas Gilcrease Museum Association, 1982.13-14

–Photographs: The Oscar Howe Collection, Richardson Collection, USD Archives and Special Collections

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Preliminary List of USD Campus Projects 1997-2011

For my first project as a volunteer at the University of South Dakota archives, I compiled a list of building projects that occurred from 1997-2011. This list will be added to for use in the Buildings, Other Structures, and Utilities collection at the archives. The main resource for my research was editions of the USD alumni magazine, The South Dakotan, since the fall of 1997. This directory to USD campus projects will be added to as others look through the Volante. Hopefully past editions of the Volante  will help us learn the names of the architects who were employed to build these projects. It was a fun assignment to be a part of, and I look forward to my next project.

Preliminary List of USD Campus Projects 1997-2011

Academic Commons

  • Ribbon Cutting January 2011[i]

Akeley Science Center

  • Rededicated Akeley Lawrence 10 December 2001[ii]

Al Neuharth Media Center

  • First mentioned in Freedom Forum speech Sept. 24, 1998[iii]
  • Al Neuharth Media Center dedicated 25 September 2003[iv]

Beacom School of Business

  • Business building preview: initially was going to be named after Walter A. Buhler who gave lead gift in 1998[v]
  • Groundbreaking set for early 2008[vi]
  • Beacom School dedicated to Mr. Miles Beacom  9 October 2009[vii]

Beede Hall

  • Renovations made, July 2007[viii]

Burgess Hall

  • Renovations to Burgess, August 2005[ix]

Coyote Statue

  • Unveiling scheduled for Fall 2012[x]

Coyote Village

  • Ground breaking Sept. 21, 2009[xi]
  • Ribbon cutting ceremony Sept. 2, 2010[xii]

DakotaDome roof

  • Replaced Spring of 2001 [Constructed by USD alum Roger “Bo” Harris’s company Harris Construction][xiii]

Dean Belbas Center

  • Dedication and ribbon cutting Oct. 1, 2004[xiv]

Lee Medical Building [The Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medicine and Science Building]

  • Fundraising begins for medical sciences school[xv]
  • Closer to goal for breaking ground[xvi]
  • Ground breaking June 25, 2004[xvii]
  • $20 million benefit from Sanford, Dec. 27, 2005[xviii]
  • 2nd of 2 phase construction on med school nearly finished[xix]
  • Dedicated to donor of land Andrew E. Lee and ribbon cutting on Friday Sep. 5 2008[xx]

McFadden Hall

  • Converted and renovated from apartments added to USD during the fall of 2003[xxi]

Mickelson Hall

  • Renovations to Mickelson, July 2006[xxii]

Muenster University Center

  • Tuition increase approved  [$4.95 more per credit hour][xxiii]
  • Old Coyote Student Center demolished in early 2006[xxiv]
  • Finished Feb. 17, 2009[xxv]
  • Monsignor James Doyle room dedicated Sept. 29, 2009[xxvi]
  • Hoy room dedicated Oct. 9, 2009[xxvii]

Multicultural Center [Unity House]

  • Dedicated at 423 N. Pine St. on 16 November 2006[xxviii]

Norton Hall

  • Renovations to Norton, March 2005[xxix]

Old Main [University Hall]

  • Constructed Oct. 16, 1882[xxx]
  • First occupied 1883[xxxi]
  • Burned 1893/ Rebuilt 1899[xxxii]
  • Closed in 1973[xxxiii]
  • Rededicated Oct. 4 1997 [Coincided with Pres. Abbot’s appointment to president][xxxiv]

Olson Hall

  • Renovations to Olson, December 2005[xxxv]

Redwood Hall

  • Renovations to Redwood Court from family to sophomore housing, August 2005[xxxvi]

Richardson Hall

  • Renovations to Richardson, August 2004[xxxvii]

Slagle Auditorium [now Aalfs Auditorium]

  • Renovation project begins, cost 6.8 million[xxxviii]
  •  $2.3 Million donated to project as of April 10, 2007[xxxix]
  •  Chandelier campaign conducted by student philanthropy[xl]
  •  Slagle Auditorium officially re-opened on 16 March 2011[xli]
  •  Ribbon cutting and rededication of Slagle to Aalfs on Oct. 7, 2011[xlii]

Wagner Alumni/ Foundation Center

  • Expansion announced $528,000 set aside for it.[xliii]
  • Rededicated 30 September 2000[xliv]

USD Observatory

  •  Original dome of USD observatory donated to school in hopes of another observatory being built[xlv]

USD Wellness Center

  • Groundbreaking 26 October 2009[xlvi]
  • Ribbon cutting Feb. 1, 2011[xlvii]

[i] ”Academic Commons Opens.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 6, No. 1, 2011, 11.

[ii] “Symposium Honors Science Legacy of USD Graduates Ernest and John Lawrence.” The South Dakotan.                      Vol. 98, No. 1, 2002.

[iii] “Freedom Forum Announces Expansion of Neuharth Center at USD.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 94, No. 3, 1998. 2.

[iv] “Al Neuharth Media Center Dedicated.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 99, No. 3, 2003. 1.

[v] “Business Building Preview.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 99, No. 2, 2003.

[vi] “New School of Business Building Dedicated.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 5.

[vii] “New School of Business Building Dedicated.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 5.

[viii] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[ix] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[x] “Student Philanthropy Project: Winning Coyote Statue Selected.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 6, No.2, 2011/12.

[xi] “Coyote Village.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 6.

[xii] “The Suite Life: Coyote Village.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2010. 21.

[xiii] “Roger ‘Bo’ Harris ’69 to Lead DakotaDome Roof Project.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 97, No. 1, 2001.

[xiv] “Belbas Center Dedicated.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 100, No.3, 2004.

[xv] “New Medical Sciences Building Will Enhance Several Departments.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 98, No. 2, 2002.

[xvi] “Medical Science Building Moves Closer to Reality.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 100, No. 1, 2004.

[xvii] “Groundbreaking Ceremony of new Medical Science Building.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 101, No. 2, 2004.

[xviii] “$20 Million Gift to Benefit School of Medicine: School Renamed in Sanford’s Honor.” The South Dakotan,             Vol. 1, No.1, 2006. 29.

[xix] “Building for the Future: Medicine, Health Sciences.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 3, No. 1, 2008. 8-9.

[xx]“USD to dedicate Lee Memorial Medicine and Science Building.” Marketing Communications and University. Online.

[xxi] “McFadden Hall Gives Students a New Housing Option.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 99, No. 3, 2003. 3.

[xxii] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[xxiii] “New Coyote Student Center Planned.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 100, No. 1, 2004.

[xxiv] “New Coyote Student Center Planned.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 100, No. 1, 2004.

[xxv] “Muenster University Center.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 1, 2009. 18.

[xxvi] “Rooms Dedicated: Monsignor Doyle Room/ Hoy Room.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 4.

[xxvii] “Rooms Dedicated: Monsignor Doyle Room/ Hoy Room.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 4.

[xxviii] “New Multicultural Center Opens at the U.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No. 2, 2007. 10.

[xxix] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[xxx] “Rededication of Old Main.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 93, No. 3, 1997.

[xxxi] “Rededication of Old Main.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 93, No. 3, 1997.

[xxxii] “Rededication of Old Main.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 93, No. 3, 1997.

[xxxiii] “Rededication of Old Main.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 93, No. 3, 1997.

[xxxiv] “Rededication of Old Main.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 93, No. 3, 1997.

[xxxv] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[xxxvi] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[xxxvii] “University Housing Undergoes Major Renovation.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No.1, 2006. 9.

[xxxviii] “Renovation of Slagle Auditorium.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 1, No. 1, 2006. 27.

[xxxix] “Campaign South Dakota: Slagle Auditorium Restoration Update.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 2, No. 2, 2007. 27.

[xl] “Let There Be Light.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2010. 24.

[xli] “A Site to Behold.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 6, No.1, 2011.

[xlii] “A Site to Behold.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 6, No.1, 2011.

[xliii] “USD Alumni and Foundation Center to Expand.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 95, No. 2, 1999.

[xliv] “The USD Alumni Association and Foundation Building: New Look, New Name.” The South Dakotan.                           Vol. 96, No. 3, 2000.

[xlv] “USD’s ‘Other’ Dome.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 97, No. 1, 2001.

[xlvi] “Wellness Center.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2009. 6.

[xlvii] “Wellness Center.” The South Dakotan. Vol. 6, No.1, 2011.

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The President’s House of the University of South Dakota from the Volante as it appeared in 1891. The house can be viewed at 222 North Yale Street and is currently a private residence.

Volante, Volume 5, no. 1

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