Rockwell Museum of Western Art
111 Cedar St., Corning, NY 14830 607-937-5386
Plains Indian shirt, c. 1880, buckskin, glass beads, red trade cloth, Museum purchase.  78.104.7 FAlfred Jacob Miller, Crow Indian on Horseback, 1844, oil on canvas, Bequeathed by Clara S. Peck.  83.46.17 FWilliam R. Leigh, The Buffalo Hunt, 1947, oil on canvas,  Rockwell Foundation purchase.  78.37 FAcoma Polychrome Vessel, c. 1920 - 1930, ceramic, Museum purchase.  90.3 F
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Rockwell Museum Collections

Appeal to the Great Spirit

Appeal to the Great Spirit Cyrus E. Dallin (1861-1944)
Appeal to the Great Spirit

plaster model
40-1/2 x 27 x 37 inches
Gift of J. N. Bartfield Galleries
91.44 F

After he saw Buffalo Bill's Wild West show in 1889, Dallin devoted much of his career to sculpting Indians and horses. His artistic interests were diverse, but he remains best known for his stylized, formal sculptures of Indians and Indian life.  On the Warpath was cast in several sizes.

Dallin viewed horses as important players in the dramatic tableaux of western life. In his time--the late 1800s and early 1900s--horses literally were carriers of culture and history as well as a primary means of transportation. Dallin was the first sculptor to sculpt heroic sculptures of Indians and their mounts in a manner similar to European bronzes. He worked in the neoclassical style that was in vogue in Paris where he studied.

The Indian was closer to nature than we are. . . . His attitude was reverential, . . . an expression of the holy things of his life. . . . Now what can we do to help repair the damage that the white man has done? Most of it is irreparable. --Cyrus E. Dallin, 1931

  • The importance of horses to Native Americans. In just a few decades after horses arrived in North America, brought by Spanish Conquistadors in the 1500s, they transformed social customs, from warfare to travel and migration, hunting, sports, and religious practice.
  • The horse has become the abiding icon, or symbol, of Western culture. Artists explore various ideas associated with the horse, from mounted servants, to mythic symbols.
Rockwell Museum of Western Art 607-937-5386
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