Thursday, June 13, 2013

Arkansas Made gallery debuts tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 4:07 PM

1828 sampler by Ku-To-Yi
  • 1828 sampler by Ku-To-Yi

A sampler stitched in 1828 by a young Cherokee girl at Dwight Mission, a Presbyterian school on the banks of the Arkansas in the early 1800s, will be just one of the fine objects on exhibit tomorrow as the Historic Arkansas Museum opens its new Arkansas Made Gallery. There will be a reception as part of 2nd Friday Art Night, 5-8 p.m., with music by Parkstone.

The objects are both old and new: A painting by contemporary artist Sylvester McKissick hangs next to an early 20th century oil by Adrian Brewer (1891-1956), and Native American pots are juxtaposed with a basket by Arkansas Living Treasure Leon Niehaus.

I got a peek today at the sampler, stitched in silk on linen in 1828 by Nancy Graves. Deputy Director and Chief Curator Swannee Bennett provided the following information on the sampler:

This rare example of Arkansas Made needlework is the earliest documented Native American-made sampler known to exist anywhere in the United States. Nancy Grave’s Cherokee name was Ku-To-Yi, and she was 11 years old when she made this sampler. She was one of dozens of young Cherokee girls who attended the Presbyterian school known as Dwight Mission, located on the banks of the Arkansas River near present-day Russellville. There they learned the three “R’s” and the various aspects of domestic economy, which included needlework, and the making of samplers. Most samplers are constructed with three major components — the alphabet, numbers and verse. As a result, the student was taught to sew, spell, read and count.

The school was established in 1820 by the Reverend Cephas Washburn. One of its stated purposes was to serve as a school to educate and Christianize the Cherokee moving west with their families from their homes in Tennessee and Georgia. Ultimately, the “Americanization” of Native Americans in this country resulted in the wholesale loss of language and culture for tens of thousands of American Indians.

Alice Walton has nothing on Bennett. Walton famously bid on a painting at auction at Sotheby's while on horseback during a competition. Bennett bid on the sampler in January from a duck blind, ducks quacking in the background all the time, a fact Sotheby's revealed to the auction audience after HAM secured the bid.

Bennett and Director Bill Worthen have authored a couple of books, "Arkansas Made," vols. 1 and 2, about objects the HAM staff has identified over many years as being Arkansan in origin and which reveal what life was like in 19th century Arkansas. They prove Arkansas was not, as Louise Loughborough is quoted as saying on one wall of the exhibit, not just a place with fiddles and leaky roofs.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Speaking of...


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Meteor will land in LR June 7

    The paper has come down from the long windows facing Kavanaugh Boulevard to reveal The Meteor Cafe, the coffee shop joined to Spokes bicycle shop at the corner of Kavanaugh and Markham, and the cafe has announced a June 7 opening.
    • May 25, 2017
  • A modern mercantile for downtown

    The storefront at the corner of Clinton, Cantrell, Markham and Cumberland (can there be any other intersection anywhere like it?) has brown paper covering the windows and a sign saying LEASED, so we asked Moses Tucker realtor John Martin what gives.
    • May 24, 2017
  • Bar Bark almost off the leash: Check it out sometime in June

    Bark Bar is straining at the leash, shooting for a mid-June opening, co-owner Elizabeth Michael says.
    • May 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Live Review: The Polyphonic Spree at Stickyz

    This fall The Polyphonic Spree is celebrating the 15th anniversary of their debut, "The Beginning Stages of ...", with a tour of Europe and North America. The Dallas, Texas band formed in July 2000, born from the sparkling mind of lead vocalist Tim DeLaughter. Tim and his band — a group of about 20 musicians — are currently on tour and performing their entire debut along with other originals and a few surprises. Returning from their stint in Europe, they came through Little Rock with a blazing performance at Stickyz Tuesday night.,
    • Oct 23, 2015
  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation