Keeping History: Plains Indian Ledger Drawings

November 13, 2009 – January 31, 2010

Cheyenne Pictures. Cheyennes Charging on U.S. Troops. Unknown artist, about 1894

National Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC

2nd Floor, East Wing, Albert Small Documents Gallery

See on Map Floor Plan

This exhibition features ledger drawings, a style of visual history, developed by Native warriors from the Northern and Southern Plains in the late 19th century. These drawings serve as valuable, firsthand biographical documentation of the personal and cultural histories of a Native people and tell the stories of battles, bravery, and loss. They illustrate Native hunters and horsemen of the Plains and their rich ceremonial and cultural life, which was threatened by soldiers and settlers flooding into their traditional lands. The exhibit also gives examples of the influence of ledger drawings on contemporary Native art and history.