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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

On the Warpath

Artist: Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861 - 1944)
Date: 1914
22 x 22 x 7 in. (55.9 x 55.9 x 17.8 cm)
Medium: Bronze
Credit Line: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2010.102
left front vertical edge of self bronze base: Q * 90/GORHAM CO. FOUNDERS [stamp]

Signed: left rear top of self bronze base: C. E. Dallin
Not on View
Accession Number: 2010.102
ProvenancePrivate Collection, New York, NY, 1940s-1950s; (James Graham & Sons, New York, NY); purchased by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2005
Label TextCyrus Dallin was born and raised in Utah, near the Ute Indians; yet he focused primarily on the Plains Indians as his subjects—identified by their feather bonnets, moccasins, and shields. Dallin recalled being inspired by picturesque Plains Indians he saw performing as part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in Paris in 1889.

Sculptors focused on Native American subjects to highlight their mastery of human anatomy. These minimally dressed figures also played into the stereotype of Native Americans as Noble Savages—relics of the past unrestrained by clothing and other items of modern civilization. Here, although the figure bears a relaxed pose, savagery and conflict are implied by the weapons and the title of On the Warpath.