Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

What's on View at the South Dakota Art Museum

Brookings, South Dakota

As part of the South Dakota State University, the South Dakota Art Museum takes pride in enriching lives through the arts. The museum has seven spacious galleries and an extensive permanent collection, much of which highlights Native-American and South Dakota artists. Exhibits range from the traditional to the contemporary, and includes works by children’s illustrator Paul Goble, Yankatonai artist Oscar Howe, as well as the world’s largest collection of Marghab linens. After touring the museum, Blue Star families can enjoy free ice-cream cones at the SDSU Dairy Bar. It’s the sweetest way we can think of to end a day of art and culture! Below are a few of our favorite exhibits currently on view at the South Dakota Art Museum.

Klickitat basket by Elsie Thomas. From the collection of the South Dakota Art Museum, 1992. Photo courtesy of the museum

The Art of the Basket (through September 18, 2011)

The Art of the Basket explores how many Native-American nations used baskets not just as useful tools, but as works of art. The basket shown above is from the Klickitat Nation, and is one of the many examples on display from the museum's permanent collection. Made of cedar root and bear grass, the basket was woven by Elsie Thomas, whose masterful work inspired her daughter-in-law, Nettie Jackson, to pursue a similar path of traditional basketweaving. Jackson went on to become an NEA Heritage Fellow in 2000.

Open Circle, (detail) Marghab Linens. From the collection of the South Dakota Art Museum, 2011. Photo courtesy of the museum

Madeiran Stitchery (through November 18, 2011)

The Portuguese island of Madeira has been known for its exquisite, hand-embroidered linens since the mid-19th century. The Marghab Linen company was considered the finest linen producer of its time, and its handcrafted works are notable for their intricate patterns and delicate cloth. This exhibit features samples from the museum's 2,800-piece Marghab Collection, which, in accordance with Madeiran guidelines, were made using 18 basic stitches and just one technique.

Illustration from Star Boy by Paul Goble. From the collection of the South Dakota Art Museum, 1995. Image courtesy of the museum

Illustrations from Star Boy (through November 6, 2011)

Although a native of England, Paul Goble became fascinated with Native-American culture at an early age. Drawn by the rich traditions of the Plains Indians, he moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1977, and built his career on retelling and illustrating the area’s indigenous folklore. His children’s picture books, vividly written and beautifully illustrated, have been honored by the American Library Association, International Reading Association, and the Children’s Book Council, among others. His book The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses received the Caldecott Medal in 1978; this is the highest honor which a picture book can receive. Through November 6, 2011, visitors will be able to view a special selection of Goble's illustrations from his book Star Boy. Other pieces of the artist's work may also be found in the museum's permanent collection.

South Dakota Art Museum
Medary Avenue at Harvey Dunn Street
Brookings, South Dakota 57007

Please visit the Blue Star Museums website for more information about the program and to find participating museums.

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