Ledger Art from the J. W. Wiggins Contemporary Native American Art Collection

On view August 14–November 28, 2020, at the Galleries at Library Square, CALS Roberts Library

As part of the Central Arkansas Library System’s celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Arkansas author Dee Brown’s classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, the CALS Galleries at Library Square are honored to host an exhibition of ledger art from the J. W. Wiggins Contemporary Native American Art Collection (click here to see the virtual exhibition online).

Wiggins explains that these “contemporary Ledger Art Drawings are created by Native American artists from the late 1980s until today. These drawings are done on any surface that was previously used for a different purpose. The repurposed surface, medium, and subject reflect the life of today’s Native American, just as the Traditional Ledger art did the life of that era’s Native American artists.”

According to the Plains Indian Ledger Art website at the University of California: “Ledger Art represents a transitional form of Plains Indian artistry corresponding to the forced reduction of Plains tribes to government reservations, roughly between 1860 and 1900. Due to the destruction of the buffalo herds and other game animals of the Great Plains by Anglo-Americans during and after the Civil War, painting on buffalo hide gave way to works on paper, muslin, canvas, and occasionally commercially prepared cow or buffalo hides.”

With this exhibition, GALS@CALS seeks to highlight the variety of artwork being created in the United States today by Native artists.

The Central Arkansas Library System and its Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Arkansas author Dee Brown’s American classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee with a series of lectures and exhibitions that recognize the enduring importance and power of Brown’s groundbreaking volume.  This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Division of Arkansas Heritage, funded by the 1/8 cent conservation sales tax, Amendment 75.

The following works and more will be on display:


The Retail Gallery is also open for business!

It is never too early to start holiday shopping or buy a little treat for yourself or someone you love. Supporting Arkansas’s artists has never been more important.


Note: The Roberts Library research room and the Galleries at Library Square are open on a limited basis Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and 1:00-5:00 p.m. The 9:00-11:00 a.m. time slot has been set aside exclusively for high-risk populations.

The exterior doors will remain locked. Patrons will be directed to go to the main entrance of the building at 401 President Clinton Avenue and contact the Gallery staff for admission by ringing the doorbell or by calling (501) 320-5790. During these hours, both the galleries and the research room will take appointments and allow a very limited number of walk-up visitors.




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