State Names

  • Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, State Names, 2000, oil, collage and mixed media on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Elizabeth Ann Dugan and museum purchase, 2004.28

Jaune Quick-To-See Smith has painted several maps of the United States to show how the land already occupied by ancient native communities was colonized by European settlers. Here, she included names of states that derive from Native American words, such as Wyoming, from a Delaware Indian word that means mountains and valleys alternating,” and Kansas, from a Sioux word meaning people of the south wind.” Smith is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation in Montana and works to raise recognition of Native American art and peoples. State Names expresses her anger that the country’s lands were divided without regard for existing tribal territories.

We are the original owners of this country. Our land was stolen from us by the Euro-American invaders … I can’t say strongly enough that my maps are about stolen lands, our very heritage, our cultures, our worldview, our being … Every map is a political map and tells a story — that we are alive everywhere across this nation …” Smith, Postmodern Messenger, Exhibition Catalogue, 2004

State Names
Not on view
4872 in. (121.9182.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Elizabeth Ann Dugan and museum purchase

Mediums Description
oil, collage and mixed media on canvas
  • Landscape – United States
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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