Seventy-one men and one woman—all American Indians—were imprisoned at Fort Marion, Florida, from 1875 to 1878. This included thirty-threeCheyenne, two Arapahos, nine Comanche, one Caddo, and twenty-seven Kiowa. Intent on assimilating these inmates into the “white” culture and believing that the government must “kill the Indian to save the man,” Richard Henry Pratt encouraged them with educational opportunities by introducing them to language, religion, art, guard duty, and craftsmanship instruction. Furthermore, he facilitated their expression of art by keeping in stock a variety of art supplies and drawing books (pencils, crayons, and ledger books).
The two drawing books by Howling Wolf (Cheyenne) and Zotom (Kiowa) in the Braun Research Library Collection were “commissioned” by Eva Scott (later Fenyes) when she was visiting St. Augustine, Florida. Inside the Howling Wolf book, Eva indicates that she sent toNew Yorkfor the books. She also suggests that she provided subjects, although Howling Wolf preferred to do his own artwork. Each of the drawing books has 32 pages. These two books are unique in that they are complete;however, they were disbound in the 1960s to reproduce them.
Imprisoned Art, Complex Patronage: Plains Drawings by Howling Wolf and Zotom at the Autry National Center by Joyce M. Szabo, a new publication from the Autry National Center and the School for Advanced Research (SAR) Press, is an in-depth analysis of Mrs. Fenyes’s role as an art patron for American Indian artists, starting as early as 1877 and carrying through to her death in 1930. Dr. Szabo, the Regents Professor of Art History at the University of New Mexico, is a specialist in Native American art and museum studies. Her area of focus is Plains drawings and painting from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The book is also available through the Autry Store.
To see more images from both drawing books visit The Autry’s Collections Online.