UND Art Book Garners Top National Award

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News Article

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College of Arts & Sciences


The 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards, often referred to as IPPY Awards, selected “Storytelling Time: Native North American Art from the Collections at the University of North Dakota” as one of 13 Outstanding Books of the Year. A gold medal will be awarded at a gala celebration on the May 23 in New York City. The book was authored by UND faculty members Arthur Jones and Lucy Ganje, along with Native American artist and UND alum Nelda Schrupp.

The IPPY Award competition is open worldwide to all members of the independent publishing industry who produce books in English for the North American market. It is sponsored by Independent Publisher, a trade journal for the independent publishing community. About 2,000 university presses, museums, and other smaller publishers participate each year, from the United States and Canada, as well as other English-speaking countries around the world.

In its award announcement for the 13 “Outstanding Books of the Year," IP said “These medalists were chosen from our regular entries for having the courage and creativity necessary to take chances, break new ground, and bring about change, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society. These are the book projects our judges found the most heartfelt, unique, outspoken and experimental among our 4,000 entries.”

Storytelling Time was published last May by Hudson Hills Press, a Manchester, VT-based producer of high-quality illustrated books, with a focus on fine art, photography, architecture, and decorative arts. Hudson Hills Press, founded under the patronage of the Rockefeller family, has a long and distinguished history of collaborating with major museums, galleries, and artists in North America and abroad

About Storytelling Time

Storytelling Time was written and co-edited by Arthur Jones, professor and chair, Art and Design, as well as the Director of UND Art Collections; Lucy Ganje (who also was the book’s designer), professor of Art and Design; and Nelda Schrupp, a nationally known Native American artist and UND alum.

Leigh Jeanotte, director of the UND American Indian Student Services and the American Indian Center, wrote the book’s Introduction. The book also includes poetry by Native American poet Denise Lajimodiere. Several UND students, faculty, and staff helped with research for the book and with its production.

Storytelling Times examines how the University’s collection of Native American art is understood and appreciated within its campus setting.

“As art collections are best understood within the context of historical trends of collecting, the book’s authors consider significant changes that have affected the philosophy behind how and why collections of American Indian art should be cared for, researched, and displayed,” said Jones.

The book’s authors explore the development of the UND collections of Native American art, as well as current attempts to reconsider such works in relation to contemporary Native American interests and concerns.

Objects made by Native American artists are examined in ways that allow concepts embodied within them to reinforce a sense of greater cultural understanding, according to Jones and Ganje. Special efforts were also taken to respectfully document ceremonial objects in an attempt to be responsive to their content, form, and function.

Lavishly illustrated with historical as well as contemporary Native American artwork, the publication’s design and layout are culturally driven, using a numerical scheme based on sacred geometry that has special significance within many Native cultures.

The book Includes 175 color plates illustrating clothing, headdresses, ceremonial objects, and other artifacts—many never before published-of the tribes that live in the North and South Dakota, as well as works from other regions of the United States.

A highlight of the publication is the original manuscript recounting of the Battle of the Little Bighorn written by a warrior who fought there, Joseph White Bull, nephew of Chief Sitting Bull--an invaluable addition to the study and understanding of Native American traditions and history. UND's history is irreversibly intertwined with the difficult history of the Plains Indians whose land includes the regions of North and South Dakota.

With great respect of how the Native American people use and cherish these objects, this catalogue documents this extraordinary collection of clothing, headdresses, and ceremonial objects, many of which incorporate exquisite bead and quill work.

Many objects presented in this publication are pieces their Native American owners did not consider objects of art, but instead viewed them as symbols of status, identity, or ceremony. Often pieces are a connection between the past and future, and handed down from one generation to the next. In addition to the older pieces, contemporary native artwork is also featured.

The essays that accompany this collection examine the history of each piece and engage in the discussion of the traditions and the future of Native American art.