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Capturing Images in 18th Century New Mexico: Comanche Rock Art as a Theatre of War
March 7 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pmFree
Severin Fowles, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College
Abstract: During the eighteenth century, an extraordinary artistic tradition arose among the Indigenous equestrian societies of the Great Plains. Characterized by iconographic celebrations of the exploits of warriors, the “Plains Biographic Tradition” included elaborately painted tipis and bison hide robes, and it eventually culminated in the ledger art of the nineteenth century. The largest and most diverse corpus of imagery, however, was created as petroglyphs on rock faces across the American West. In this presentation Dr. Fowles shares the results of a decade-long effort to document a sprawling landscape of Plains Biographic Tradition rock art created by the Ancestral Comanche during their early eighteenth century forays into the Taos region of New Mexico. Hundreds of incised panels depicting battle scenes, bison hunts, and horse raids have been recorded, revealing evidence of repeated Comanche efforts not just to archive their military prowess, but also to artistically appropriate the rock art of their opponents. Collectively, the images invite us to ask: can images, no less than their human makers, be taken captive?
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
6:00 pm EST
Hybrid lecture (in person and via Zoom)
Institute of Fine Arts–NYU
1 East 78th Street, New York, NY
REGISTERATION IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND