Curtains - For the Record


Representing the end of life as it was known - for both the Native Americans AND the Cavalry. It was "Curtains for Custer". This is a painting about what came after the trade. Native cultures were intrigued to trade with the white man until the trade turned “ugly”. This painting depicts General George Armstrong Custer behind a curtain of trade beads. He stands on lush green earth with an impatient pose. Vertically, there is a rendition of Native American ledger art, showing an Indian and Calvary skirmish. Once Native Americans were settled on reservations, the traditional record-keeping material of animal hides was no longer available to them. They utilized discarded journals and ledger books in which to continue recording their history. There are many examples of this art in museums today. The sheer size of this project was the challenge I eagerly took on. To paint Custer life-size in a menacing vertical pose has a great deal of impact in this work. The textural appeal of the trade beads recalls a beaded curtain in which the unsavory future lurks. Measuring 2' x 6', this is a very large and impressive painting. It is oil on canvas, beautifully framed with a patterned veneer liner encased in a heavy burl walnut finished frame.