17 July 2013

Pratt The Baptist - Final Print

In Indian civilization I am a Baptist, because I believe in immersing the Indians in our civilization and when we get them under holding them there until they are thoroughly soaked.  –Richard Henry Pratt 

In 1875, seventy two Plains Indians were captured at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and exiled to Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida, where they were subjected to military methods of ‘Indian assimilation’ under the direction of Lt. Richard Henry Pratt. Four years later, Pratt secured the permission of officials in the U.S. government to use a deserted military base in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, as the site of a school, and thus began the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. The Carlisle School was the first off-reservation Indian boarding school, and it became a model for Indian boarding schools everywhere. It was in operation from 1879 to 1918, and during that time more than 10,000 students passed through its doors.

This print/drawing was created for a 72-artist project called Re-Riding History, curated by Emily Arthur, Martin Begaye, and John Hitchcock. Watch this space for news about where the project will be shown in the months ahead.


Andrew Stone said...

Not as sad as it could have been.
I love the naive drawing style. It is very in keeping with the ledger drawings I have seen. I like the photo you chose of the huddled group with their arms around each other for support. I'm glad you were included in this project. Is this a unique piece? ( I noted you had stained/aged a few sheets of paper...).

Annie B said...

Hi Andrew,
I made six of these, so it's an edition, but I probably need to call it a variable edition since so much is hand drawn.
Could have been more sad, yes, I guess that's true. But none of the ledger drawings I saw were sad or melodramatic, so I tried to imitate the tone of those as well as the style. One of the at-the-time novelties of Pratt's methods was that he was kind to his captives/students, giving them many privileges if they kept with the program.

Elizabeth Busey said...

I'm glad you kept the tone of the ledger drawings in keeping with those of the original artists. I do get the sadness from their small jail cell, though. I am amazed and saddened by this incarceration/indoctrination and at the number of students who were forced to attend the school.

I hope that these prints will be widely viewed, as I would guess most Americans have no idea of this black mark on the history of their country. Your print so poignantly illustrates this sad time.