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Emily C. Burns, OU: In the Wake of Native American Art

Thursday, February 22
11:00 AM

In the Wake of Native American Art: Tracking Charles M. Russell Relationships with Blackfoot Artistry

Western painter Charles M. Russell collected Northern Plains art and often depicted it to index his imagined western scenes. Scholars have typically treated these “artifacts” as “props” that are repurposed in his paintings. But what if we think instead about the knowledge systems that are embedded in the largely Blackfeet belongings that Russell collected and painted? This talk analyzes In the Wake of the Buffalo Hunters, a 1911 painting by Russell, as a contest of epistemologies by centering the belongings and Russell’s Blackfeet model, Josephine Wright, in the interpretation.

Dr. Emily Burns

Emily C. Burns is Director of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West and an Associate Professor of Art History at University of Oklahoma. Burns is a scholar of the transnational nineteenth century, with an interdisciplinary research practice that analyzes artists and works of art moving through space and between cultures, with a focus on relationships between U.S. and Native American artists, as well as dialogues between French, U.S., and Native American artists. She is author of Transnational Frontiers: the American West in France (University of Oklahoma Press, 2018) and co-editor of Mapping Impressionist Painting in Transnational Contexts (with Alice M. Rudy Price, Routledge, 2021) and of Routledge Companion to Art and Empire: Imperialism and Aesthetics, 1800-1950 (with Alice M. Rudy Price, Routledge, forthcoming 2024), as well as co-editor for an issue of Transatlantica on the American West in France (with Agathe Cabau, 2019). Burns has published articles about U.S. art in Paris, the circulation of Lakota performers and art, U.S. exhibition histories, U.S. sculpture in public spaces, and U.S. impressionism. She earned a B.A. in Art History from Union College, an M.A. in Art History and Theory from the George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Art History and Archaeology from Washington University in St. Louis. At OU, she teaches courses on American art and the art of the American West.

Students in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences gain Experience Points for attending this lecture. Learn more about Experience Points.