A Different Perspective on the Battle of Litte Bighorn

6 Jun

The Battle of Greasy Grass, by Allan Mardon

Ever since my wife and I spent a sabbatical year at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (2002-2003), I have been haunted by Allan Mardon’s painting, imaged above. Titled The Battle of Greasy Grass, it presents the battle in a scale that looks to the grand battle art of Western artistic tradition, yet in a manner that draws heavily on the ledger book and buffalo hide style of the Plains Indians of the 19th century. (Mardon is not himself Native American.)

I find the painting vivid and at the same time disorienting–enough so as to get beyond the standard non-Indian visual depictions of the battle and bring me back towards the historical event with fresh perspective.

You can read Emily Kassebaum’s piece on the painting here: TAKING A DEEPER LOOK: MARDON’S THE BATTLE OF GREASY GRASS – Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

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