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June 12 @ 9:00 am - 3:30 pm

The Brinton Museum presents the symposium, Bravery, Beauty & Sacred Power, on Edward Curtis’ North American Indian photogravure portraits from the North American Indian folios currently on display in The Brinton’s Jacomien Mars Reception Gallery. This program will range from placing Edward S. Curtis in his historic time period to how Native People today perceive and react to his work.

This symposium takes place on Saturday, June 12. Registrations are limited and can be made online. Registration is $65 and includes a boxed lunch prepared by The Brinton Bistro.

The “Bravery, Beauty & Sacred Power: The Cheyenne, Crow, Lakota & Blackfeet Portraits of Edward S. Curtis exhibit catalog is available at The Brinton Museum Store. You may pick up a copy of the catalog in the store or order one online today.

Symposium Presenters

Arthur Amiotte

Arthur Amiotte headshotThe career of Arthur Amiotte spans five decades as a contemporary Lakota artist, art historian, educator, and lecturer on Plains Indian arts, beliefs, customs, and culture. As a Lakota artist, his earliest works, from 1961 to 1966, were in the style of Oscar Howe, an internationally known Yanktonai (Sioux) painter. Amiotte painted in this style until 1966 when he produced a series of highly plastic, textured paintings of reservation landscapes. In 1969, he returned to the Pine Ridge Reservation to teach Sioux cultural arts to young people and to make fabric and fiber wall hangings and also abstract paintings of Sioux material culture. While participating in sacred ceremonies and rituals, Amiotte learned the traditional ancient artistic techniques used to make ceremonial articles.

His work continued in a series of collage pieces that evolved out of the muslin and ledger book tradition. A recipient of the Arts International Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Artists Fellowship in 1997, Amiotte lived at the Claude Monet residence in Giverny, France, and continued making collages mixing images of Indians in tribal and historical settings. The theme – maintaining the values and traditions of Lakota styles in a variety of media while adapting to non-Indian circumstances – is inherent in the collages. Amiotte pioneered artistic styles in a variety of media that are often imitated by other artists.
Amiotte has presented lectures at museums and universities in the United States, Canada, and Europe. He is the author of the section-chapters on Sioux art for the centennial book, An Illustrated History of the Arts in South Dakota, originally published in 1989.

Aaron Brien

Aaron Brien is a member of the Apsáalooke Nation, Big Lodge Clan and child of the Whistling Water Clan. His crow Indian name is Bachiakuashdesh/Goes To The Middle of War. He also is a member of the Night Hawk Dance Society. He was born in Sheridan, Wyoming, and was raised on the Crow Reservation’s Center Lodge (Reno) District. Brien studied at Salish Kootenai College and the University of Montana as an undergraduate and earned a master’s degree from the University of Montana’s Department of Anthropology. He currently is the Director of the Tribal Historic Preservation Department of the Crow Tribe. Aaron Brien is a member of the Apsáalooke Nation, Big Lodge Clan and child of the Whistling Water Clan. His crow Indian name is Bachiakuashdesh/Goes To The Middle of War. He also is a member of the Night Hawk Dance Society. He was born in Sheridan, Wyoming, and was raised on the Crow Reservation’s Center Lodge (Reno) District.  

Brien studied at Salish Kootenai College and the University of Montana as an undergraduate and earned a master’s degree from the University of Montana’s Department of Anthropology. He currently is the Director of the Tribal Historic Preservation Department of the Crow Tribe.

Keith F. Davis

Keith Davis HeadshotKeith F. Davis is an independent photographic historian, curator, and author. Through November 2020, he held the positions of senior curator of photography, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and an advisor to the Hall Family Foundation, both in Kansas City, MO.

Born in Connecticut in 1952, he received his B.S. degree (1974) in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and his M.A. (1979) in the History of Art from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. In 1978-79 he held a research internship at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, NY. He worked for Hallmark Cards, Inc., in Kansas City, Mo., from 1979 to 2011.

He became Curator of the Hallmark Fine Art Collections in 1979, Chief Curator in 1987, Fine Art Programs Director in 1992, and Chair, Art Selection Committee in 2008. Over these years, he expanded the Hallmark Art Collection to over 2,500 paintings, prints, and dimensional works, and the Hallmark Photographic Collection to a total of 6,500 works by 900 photographers. He curated over seventy exhibitions from the Hallmark art and photography holdings—shows seen in over 300 individual bookings in leading museums across the U.S., and in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, France, Spain, and Switzerland.

Following the gift of the Hallmark Photographic Collection to the Nelson-Atkins Museum in December 2005, Davis became the museum’s founding curator of photography in January 2006. This program included gallery space dedicated to the medium and a regular series of historical rotations, thematic and monographic exhibitions, publications, and related educational programming. This was broadly recognized as one of the most active and important museum photography programs in the world.

Davis’ various awards include a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1986-87) for his work on the Civil War-era photographer George N. Barnard; and the 2018 AIPAD [Association of Independent Photography Art Dealers] Award for career achievement. He was honored to be included in James Stourton’s definitive study, Great Collectors of Our Time: Art Collecting Since 1945 (Scala, 2007).

Michael LaFromboise

Michael LaFromboise headshotMichael LaFromboise has been serving as the Native American Studies Department Governance Instructor for Salish Kootenai College.    He holds a Masters of Education from the Montana State University Northern. He has held the capacity of Piikani Studies Division Head at Blackfeet Community College.  He is an American Indian College Fund Andrew B Mellon Fellow in research on Blackfoot ceremonial process.   He is a member of the Brave Dog society and is involved in all of the ceremonial activities that Blackfoot people practice including Medicine Lodge (Sun Dance), Thunder Medicine Pipe, Beaver Bundle and is the caretaker of the Black Tailed Deer dance bundle that Piikani people have adopted from the Salish and Kootenai peoples.

Mr. LaFromboise has developed Language applications for the Apple OS and Android phone platforms as well as developed interactive websites for Piikani Language.  30 Piikani Language lessons were developed to fulfill the transfer requirements in the Montana University system at the Blackfeet Community College.  The stand-alone language classes that is completely digitized and functional for any student interested in wanting to learn and transfer as a foreign language.

In addition, Mr. LaFromboise has developed an Indian Education for all learning platform that is completely digital and covers the essential knowledge for public schools to use for their curriculum supplements.

Timothy P. McCleary Ph.D., Little Big Horn College, Crow Agency, Montana

Timothy McCleary HeadshotTimothy McCleary received his Ph.D.  in anthropology at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign, and is a professor at Little Big Horn College, the Crow tribal college. His lifelong interest in how different cultures perceive the world lead him to the field of anthropology. Through his studies he has examined various aspects of the historic and contemporary culture of the Apsáalooke people. This research has covered such varied topics as the legal battles of the Native American Church in Montana, the rise of Pentecostalism on the Crow Indian Reservation, and the cultural, historical and religious significance of land to the Apsáalooke people.

Hunter C. Old Elk

Hunter C Old Elk Headshot 2021Hunter C. Old Elk (Apsáalooke / Yakama) is an Indigenous museum curator and artist. She is the Curatorial Assistant for the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Old Elk holds a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis on 20th- century Native American history from Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. In a field historically operated and intentionally secluded from Indigenous communities, Old Elk connects Indigenous Peoples to museums as equals and allies. She uses museum engagement through education outreach, object curation, and social media to explore the complexities of historic and contemporary Plains Indian cultures.

Linwood Tall Bull

A resident of Busby, Montana, Linwood is a member of a venerated, traditionalist Northern Cheyenne family, and a leader of the Dog Soldier Society, one of four Cheyenne sacred warrior societies. An ethnobotanist and teacher at Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer (MT), he is a member of The Brinton Museum’s American Indian Advisory Council, established in 2014. The American Indian Advisory Council provides to the museum invaluable expertise on American Indian life and culture.