March 26 through June 20, 2010
The 1880's and 1890's were decades of tremendous upheaval for many native peoples in Texas.
Numerous Indian reservations were opened in the Oklahoma and Indian Territories during this time and large-scale efforts were made to force the Native Peoples to adopt Euro-American ways. In Citizen’s Garb: Southern Plains Native Americans, 1885–1891, explores how dress--and life--changed for the Kiowa and Comanche tribes as they gradually adjusted to the new life forced upon them by the United States government. Images of Native Americans in both citizen and native dress reflect the transition occurring between the tribes’ past and their radically different future. Other details are more subtle: a tipi constructed of store-bought canvas rather than of animal hides, for example, reflects a significant change in the material culture of the Native Peoples. The exhibition is curated by John Hernandez, Director of the Museum of the Great Plains in Lawton, Oklahoma, and is organized by the Museum of the Great Plains.
Presentation of In Citizen's Garb at the Penn Museum is made possible by the generosity of Lynne and Harold Honickman in honor of the memory of Elaine Garfinkel.