Angel De Cora (Hinųk Max̄iwi-Kerenąka, “She Returns to the Sky,” Winnebago/Ho-Chunk; 1871-1919) was an influential artist and illustrator, designer and teacher, and the first Native American graduate of Smith College (class of 1896). Curator and scholar Yvonne Tiger (Smith ’03) will introduce De Cora’s work and her powerful but nearly-forgotten legacy as an educator of Native American youth, a respected artist and illustrator who worked with the finest Native American authors and intellectuals of her day, and an innovative graphic designer and book artist whose work resonates in today’s visual world.
The multi-media presentation will be followed by a reception in the Parish Hall. Images of Angel de Cora’s work will be on view in the Parish Hall through December 2nd.
This event is FREE but please RSVP.
Yvonne Tiger (Cherokee, Seminole, Muscogee (Creek) Nations of Oklahoma) is a scholar, curator, and art critic, and member of a prominent Native American artistic family. Her research focuses on Native American art, museums and cultural representation, Indigenous graphic novels, and on the work of Angel De Cora, about whom she has spoken widely, including at the School of American Research, Santa Fe NM. She has a BA from Smith College (’03) where she wrote her honors thesis on De Cora, holds two master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma, in history and art history, and is currently a doctoral student in the Cultural, Social and Political Thought Program, University of Lethbridge, Ontario, and a 2021-22 Native American Curatorial Fellow at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA. She is a contributing writer to First American Art magazine, has been a Senior Program Manager/Research Associate for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and has taught Native American Studies at Montana State University-Northern, Havre MT. She will be a scholar in residence for the week at the 5 Colleges giving presentations, visiting classes, and contributing to curricular initiatives incorporating De Cora’s work and legacy.
Angel De Cora (Hinųk Max̄iwi-Kerenąka, “She Returns to the Sky,” Winnebago/Ho-Chunk; 1871-1919) was an influential artist and illustrator, designer and teacher, and the first Native American graduate of Smith College (class of 1896). De Cora studied with some of the finest artists of the day, Tonalist painter Dwight William Tryon at Smith and famous illustrator Howard Pyle at Drexel. Beginning her career as an illustrator with the most prestigious magazine of the day, she wrote and illustrated two stories for Harper’s. She illustrated books for a series of influential and successful authors, including Francis La Flesche (Omaha), the first professional Native American ethnologist; Zitkala-Ša (Gertrude Bunnin; Yankton Dakota), influential writer and activist, co-founder of the National Council of American Indians; and Elaine Goodale Eastman, collaborator with her husband, Charles Eastman (Santee Dakota) in his work as historian and activist. De Cora was also an influential teacher of the arts to Native American students at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, and is now being recognized as a highly influential book and type designer who was key in bringing Native American imagery into the graphic arts in respectful and resonant ways. Her most influential work, Natalie Curtis’s The Indians’ Book, is a masterpiece of design, typography, and illustration, recently recognized for its importance in works on book design (for example in Richard Minsky’s Trade Bindings with Native American Themes, 1875-1933) and by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).
You may also enjoy these additional events which are part of the 150th anniversary celebration of De Cora's birth.
Honoring the Life and Art of Angel De Cora:
A Panel Discussion at Historic Northampton
Angel De Cora, Illustrator and Graphic Designer (1871-1919)
An Exhibition at Forbes Library
Curated by Donna Calacone
October 5 - 31, 2021