Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Flathead, born 1940). <em>Ghost Dance Dress</em>, 2000. Oil, collage and mixed media on canvas, 72 x 48 in. (182.9 x 121.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dorothee Peiper-Riegraf in honor of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Arlene LewAllen (1941-2002), 2006.79. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2006.79_PS11.jpg)

Ghost Dance Dress

Artist:Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Medium: Oil, collage and mixed media on canvas


Dimensions: 72 x 48 in. (182.9 x 121.9 cm)



Accession Number: 2006.79

Image: 2006.79_PS11.jpg,

Catalogue Description:
This work by the Salish, French-Cree, and Shoshone artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith explores the challenges of Native American coexistence with American culture. The Plains woman’s dress featured prominently in the painting is worn by those in the Ghost Dance Religion to recall the vision of John Wilson (better known as Wovoka), who prophesied that white people would vanish and Native Americans would return to take back the land that was once theirs. The religious movement offered hope to many homeless, ill, and hungry Native Americans, and its message and surrounding tensions are, according to the artist, conveyed through various elements in this work: the eagle appears as a messenger of the prophecy; bingo cards are meant to represent the Catholic Church’s introduction of gambling to reservations; and written texts convey the “Queen of Hearts” children’s rhyme, a reference to power.

Brooklyn Museum