A painter and a teller of stories

“What is the ledger book style and where did it come from? During the last part of the 19th century, Native peoples were forced onto reservations by the US government. Some of the strongest resistance to this was among the Plains Indians. As a result, many of their leaders were put in prison. Eventually, thousands of children were sent east to boarding schools to be “civilized”. During their incarceration, some Indians were given discarded accounting books in which to draw. These used ledger books had lined pages and were intended for bookkeeping. Artists used pencils, pens, and watercolors to create bold images of their vanishing culture. Visually, the Indian images float above the lined paper of the “white man” with its written words. Sadly, and in the most compelling manner, the intentions of the bookkeeper and the Indian artist oppose one another; the two cultures never seem to connect.


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