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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Top Book of 2019

Becoming Mary Sully by Philip J. Deloria

Becoming Mary Sully by Philip J. Deloria (University of Washington Press)
Author, Harvard professor, and historian Philip J. Deloria describes the era captured in the nearly lost art of his great aunt, Mary Sully, as a “critical moment — sometime in the 1920s, perhaps — when many American Indian people crafted new and different lives for themselves.” Deloria writes this characterization as part of an introduction to Becoming Mary Sully (University of Washington Press), a detailed survey of the extant works of the Dakota Sioux artist. The book underscores her unique position as an American Indian Modernist and examines the wider historical context of her surprising and original work, and the political, social, and aesthetic forces that shaped it. Emerging from potential obscurity, Sully’s work deepens cultural perceptions of American Indian abstraction. —Sarah Rose Sharp

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