"Weaving History into Art: The Enduring Legacy of Shan Goshorn" at Gilcrease Museum

Oct 12, 2020

We are pleased to welcome Mark Dolph back to StudioTulsa. He's Curator of History at Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa. He tells us about an exciting new exhibition at that museum presenting the work of Shan Goshorn, the late Tulsa-area artist. As noted at the Gilcrease website, "Goshorn was internationally recognized for weaving archival documents and photographs into baskets using traditional Cherokee techniques to create historical, political, and cultural commentary on Native American issues that continue to resonate in the 21st century. Central to [this] exhibition is the premier of SQUAW, the last work Goshorn completed prior to her passing. SQUAW was inspired by the Venus de Milo, an iconic symbol of female beauty. Juxtaposing this model with the title SQUAW creates a tension and contrast to the Western ideal of beauty against a pejorative used to reduce Native women to disposable sexual commodities. SQUAW will serve as a catalyst for much-needed conversations on why indigenous women suffer disproportionately higher rates of violence than non-Native women and the judicial system's reluctance to prosecute these crimes. Goshorn's artistic legacy is also represented and complimented by the art of four Native American women whose works reflects Shan's influence and vision: Carol Emarthle-Douglas (Northern Arapahoe/Seminole) is well-regarded for her traditional and contemporary baskets, jewelry and paintings; Anita Fields (Osage/Muscogee Creek), is nationally recognized for her unique contemporary ceramic sculptures, mixed-media installations, traditional Osage ribbon work, and as an arts educator; Lisa Rutherford (Cherokee), a textile artist, potter and maker of traditional Cherokee clothing, beadwork, and baskets; Holly Wilson (Delaware/Cherokee), a contemporary multi-media artist whose works include bronzes, encaustics, photography, glass and clay."