Whether painted by artist-warriors depicting their feats in battle or by other Native American artists, 19th and 20th century ledger drawingsâdrawn on blank sheets of ledger books obtained from U.S. soldiers, traders, missionaries, and reservation employeesâprovide an excellent visual source of information on the Great Plains Native Americans. An art form representing a transition from drawing on buffalo hide to a paper medium, ledger drawings range in style, content, and quality from primitive and artistically poor to bold and sharp with lavish use of color. Although interest in ledger drawings has increased in the last 20 years, there has never been a guide to holdings of these drawings. By bringing together the diverse and scattered institutions that hold them, this book will make finding the drawings quicker and easier.
Illustrated with examples of ledger drawings, the guide identifies the libraries, archives, historical societies, and museums that hold ledger drawings. The institutions listed range from those with large collections, such as the Smithsonian, Yale, and Oklahoma museums, to institutions with only a few drawings. The book also includes a bibliography of books and articles about Indian pictographic art. The index will enable researchers to locate art by individual artists and tribes.