Cover image for Turning the feather around : my life in art
Title:
Turning the feather around : my life in art
Author:
Morrison, George, 1919-2000.
Publication Information:
St. Paul : Minnesota Historical Society Press, [1998]

©1998
Physical Description:
205 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm.
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780873513593

9780873513609
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library N6537.M656 M67 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

In this fascinating self-portrait, George Morrison, who calls himself an artist who happens to be an Indian, tells a personal story of a life of changing horizons and artistic achievement. Growing up in a large family (we didn't know we were poor), he bartered pictures with town kids and carved trinkets to sell to tourists. Encouraged by his teachers, he attended art school in Minneapolis, then moved to New York City. At the Art Students League, George was swept up in Abstract Expressionism, showed his work in Greenwich Village lofts, and spent summers working and painting in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He later taught at the Rhode Island School of Design. But in 1970, his direction turned toward home, and George began to search out his Ojibway heritage. Turning the Feather Around is a work of intimate personal disclosure that captures the pulse of the speaking voice and the vision of the artist's eye.


Summary

"For fifty years George Morrison has had an active part in the world of contemporary art, and he is widely recognized as one of the most important Native American painters of his generation. In Turning the Feather Around: My Life in Art, Morrison tells about his life's journey, which began in a small Ojibway community on Minnesota's North Shore and took him to Europe and New York City during one of the most exciting periods of twentieth-century art. Morrison's return to Minnesota and his Native American roots is a powerful human story of creativity and spirituality in the life of a powerful artist."Evan M. Maurer, Director and CEO, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Growing up in a large family ("we didn't know we were poor"), he bartered pictures with town kids and carved trinkets to sell to tourists. Encouraged by good high school teachers at Grand Marais, he attended art school in Minneapolis, then moved to New York City. At the Art Students League, George went about becoming an artist in earnest, absorbing the excitement of the new American style, Abstract Expressionism; showing his work in Greenwich Village lofts; and spending summers working and painting in Provincetown, R.I. Marriage and a teaching job at the Rhode Island School of Design seemed to fix his career firmly in the East. But in 1970, his direction turned toward home, and George began to search out his Ojibway heritage. His luminous small horizon paintings reflect his return to the "big water." Turning the Feather Around, the title taken from a name given to George in a healing ceremony, is a work of intimate personal disclosure that captures the pulse of the speaking voice and the vision of the artist's eye.

"When I saw George in the summer of 1994, after a lapse of several years, I sensed that he was ready to tell his story. We began the audio taping, sitting on a small sofa at Red Rock, George's studio home overlooking Lake Superior, and drinking coffee brewed strong and aromatic, the way he likes it. Though we tried to start at the beginning, the art on the walls and his current life led us to digress.

This book does not pretend to be the last word on George Morrison's life and art. But it is his word. Only George can paint his own picture, offer us humor and humility in the face of the vast lake, and place bits of driftwood just right to reveal the winding current of his life."Margot Fortunato Galt


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Professional writer and friend, Galt relates the life story of the celebrated artist George Morrison. A member of the generation that defined the Native American Fine Arts Movement, Morrison is unique in the extent to which he immersed himself in the mainstream of Euro-American Modernism. Educated at the Minneapolis School of Art and the Art Students' League, Morrison was intimately associated with the major artists of the New York School and enjoyed a successful career as a teacher and exhibiting artist on the East Coast. Returning in 1970 to teach at the University of Minnesota, he made a conscious decision to reconnect with his Indian heritage and values, becoming a significant force in the education of a new generation of American Indian artists. Galt wisely elected to allow the artist to tell his own story, adopting a format that emphasizes the personal reflections and conversational voices of the artist and his former wife, Hazel. Chronologically organized, the text is fluid and highly readable, communicating a strong sense of the artist's personality. Good bibliography; 69 illustrations including 33 color reproductions. A book for all libraries with a commitment to American Indian studies and art. J. A. Day; University of South Dakota


Choice Review

Professional writer and friend, Galt relates the life story of the celebrated artist George Morrison. A member of the generation that defined the Native American Fine Arts Movement, Morrison is unique in the extent to which he immersed himself in the mainstream of Euro-American Modernism. Educated at the Minneapolis School of Art and the Art Students' League, Morrison was intimately associated with the major artists of the New York School and enjoyed a successful career as a teacher and exhibiting artist on the East Coast. Returning in 1970 to teach at the University of Minnesota, he made a conscious decision to reconnect with his Indian heritage and values, becoming a significant force in the education of a new generation of American Indian artists. Galt wisely elected to allow the artist to tell his own story, adopting a format that emphasizes the personal reflections and conversational voices of the artist and his former wife, Hazel. Chronologically organized, the text is fluid and highly readable, communicating a strong sense of the artist's personality. Good bibliography; 69 illustrations including 33 color reproductions. A book for all libraries with a commitment to American Indian studies and art. J. A. Day; University of South Dakota


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