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Woman in Window / T. C. Cannon


Caddo and Kiowa (Cáuigù)1 artist T. C. Cannon often drew upon the techniques of the Post-Impressionist and Fauvist movements in his vibrant works. For his woodblock print Woman in Window, which also references complex conceptions of the representation of Indigenous women, Cannon collaborated with two Japanese masters whose signatures are in the lower right, woodblock carver Kentaro Maeda and printer Matashiro Uchikawa. The woman’s red-dyed Northern Plains–style wool dress is adorned with stars on the sleeves, indicating her participation in the Ghost Dance. The front of the dress features yellow cowrie shells and the collar is decorated with gold bugle beads, with a cross from a rosary stitched near the collarbone; she wears five-tier earrings. The cream-colored stripes at the shoulders and cuffs are an homage to the U.S. Army wool remnants supplied to Indigenous communities through trade and government rationing. An ornate pattern of red paint appears to drip down her face from the part in her hair.

Her watchful eyes challenge the dynamic of traditional Western paintings depicting Indigenous women as Other, or as objectified exotic examples of a vanishing race. The liberatory shift in gaze empowers the Indigenous woman, often gazed upon, as she herself becomes the viewer. The linear floral wallpaper prints frame both the subject and the landscape in the background.

—Jordan Poorman Cocker, Henry Luce Foundation Curatorial Scholar for Indigenous Painting Collection Research, 2021

1 Cáuigù is the correct identity used by the Kiowa Tribe.

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Woman in Window
T. C. Cannon (Artist)
Native American; Caddo, Kiowa
circa 1970s
ink on paper
Portrait; single-sided 0.318mm cream colored, wove paper. Even distribution of fibers in transmitted light. Deckled edges. Watermark in the lower PR corner.
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of Joyce Cannon Yi
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
On View

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