Over the course of his career, artist Paul Dyck (1917–2006) assembled more than 2,000 nineteenth-century artworks created by the buffalo-hunting peoples of the Great Plains. Only with its acquisition by the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has this legendary collection become available to the general public. Plains Indian Buffalo Cultures allows readers, for the first time, to experience the artistry and diversity of the Paul Dyck Collection—and the cultures it represents.
Richly illustrated with more than 160 color photographs and historical images, this book showcases a wide array of masterworks created by members of the Crow, Pawnee, Lakota, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Shoshone, Hidatsa, Mandan, Arikara, Dakota, Kiowa, Comanche, Blackfoot, Otoe, Nez Perce, and other Native groups. Author Emma I. Hansen provides an overview of Dyck’s collection, analyzing its representations of Native life and heritage alongside the artist-collector’s desire to assemble the finest examples of nineteenth-century Plains Indian arts available to him. His collection invites discussion of Great Plains warrior traditions, women’s artistry, symbols of leadership, and ceremonial arts and their enduring cultural importance for Native communities. A foreword by Arthur Amiotte provides further context regarding the collection’s inception and its significance for present-day Native scholars.
From hide clothing, bear claw necklaces, and shields to buffalo robes, tipis, and decorative equipment made for prized horses, the artworks in the Paul Dyck Collection provide a firsthand glimpse into the traditions, adaptations, and innovations of Great Plains Indian cultures.