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Grant helps South Dakota Art Museum restore Goble works

South Dakota Art Museum Collections Coordinator Lisa Scholten explains that tiny cracks, not visible to the eye, have damaged this Paul Goble illustration from “The Gift of the Sacred Dog,” published in 1980. Through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and matching funds provided by donors, the museum will be able to restore 37 paintings from its Goble collection.

To ensure future generations will enjoy its Paul Goble Collection, the South Dakota Art Museum will be able conserve 37 paintings after receiving a $91,102 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and $91,119 in matching funds provided by individual donors.

These paintings are original watercolors and ink illustrations for Goble’s books depicting Native American stories and tradition, including “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses.” Goble won the Caldecott Medal, which recognizes artists for illustrations in children’s picture books, for that work.

“This three-yearlong project will ensure that the works are accessible for exhibition and research for generations to come,” said Collections Coordinator Lisa Scholten, who will direct the restoration project with the Midwest Art Conservation Center. “Routine conservation treatment is needed due to natural aging and is our responsibility as stewards of the state’s art treasures.”

Goble, who had a lifelong fascination with Native American culture and spirituality, emigrated from England in 1977. He wrote and illustrated more than 30 books and donated his entire collection of 500 original illustrations to the South Dakota Art Museum. Goble died in January.

An IMLS assessment done in 2014 identified 16 percent of the collection’s 500 works needed conservation treatment. The works had microscopic cracks in the painted surface due to normal wear.

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information and new ideas in the arts, sciences and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” IMLS Director Kathryn K. Matthew said. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grants as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit

About South Dakota Art Museum
Since 1970, the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings has been a place for people around the world to enjoy the artistic legacy of South Dakota in all its diversity. Rotating exhibits feature Harvey Dunn, Native American art, Marghab linens and Paul Goble; as well as exhibits curated from regional, national and international artists. The museum has more than 7,000 objects in its collection including paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, textiles and ceramics. The museum's store features jewelry, pottery and original works of art by local and regional artists in addition to books on South Dakota history and culture. To learn more, visit or call (605) 688-5423.