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Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe

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The acclaimed exhibition "Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe" culminates its national tour in Oscar Howe's home state of South Dakota. "Dakota Modern" will be on view June 10, 2023–Sept. 17, 2023 at the South Dakota Art Museum at South Dakota State University in Brookings.

This retrospective exhibition celebrating the art of Yanktonai Dakota artist Oscar Howe was curated by Kathleen Ash-Milby and organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Portland Art Museum. It opened at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in March 2022, in New York City, and traveled to the Portland Art Museum, where it closed May 14, 2023. The South Dakota Art Museum is the final stop for Dakota Modern.

The exhibition at the South Dakota Art Museum features more than 60 works by Howe, including early works created in New Mexico and Oklahoma and a large selection of mature works painted by Howe during his many years living in South Dakota and teaching at the University of South Dakota. Howe’s public works, such as the Corn Palace murals, are also touched upon in the exhibit. Dakota Modern draws upon collections from across the country, including many South Dakota collections. A large body of work from the Oscar Howe Collections at USD and selections from the collections of the South Dakota Art Museum, the South Dakota State Historical Society, as well as private collectors from the state and beyond make up the exhibit.

For questions, please email the South Dakota Art Museum or call 605-688-5423.

Exhibition News Release

Opening Day Celebration News Release

Exploring the art and legacy of Oscar Howe | SDPB, In the Moment | June 8, 2023

Revisiting the artistic legacy of Oscar Howe | SDPB, In the Moment | June 28, 2023

Oscar Howe Collection and Biography

Continuum: Honoring Oscar Howe's Legacy companion exhibition


Outreach and Engagement Opportunities

Non-profit Tribal affiliated institutions/organizations within South Dakota are invited to apply for a reimbursement travel scholarship to visit the South Dakota Art Museum to view Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe and Continuum: Honoring Oscar Howe's Legacy. Funds are limited and applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. While it is not required to schedule a tour to receive a scholarship, please know that various tours are available to you when you visit. Organizations may qualify for up to $600.00 in reimbursement (amount awarded based on miles traveled).

Note: This opportunity is available during the run of "Dakota Modern," from June 10, 2023 to Sept. 17, 2023. For questions, email Abigail Ramsbottom, Education Curator or call 605-688-6981.

Apply Here

Oscar Howe Community Celebration Grants support opportunities for public engagement with, and community access to, the artistic legacy of Yanktonai Dakota artist Oscar Howe. Organizations can request up to $2,500.00 for funds to be utilized in a 1:1 match for their project. Organizational match can be accomplished through other grant funds, donations, staff time, volunteer time and in-kind donations.

Note: This opportunity is available during the run of "Dakota Modern," from June 10, 2023 to Sept. 17, 2023. For questions, email Abigail Ramsbottom, Education Curator or call 605-688-6981.

Apply Here

Free guided tours of current Museum exhibitions are available to groups of ten or more people (of any age) with advance registration. Please complete registration at least two weeks in advance to secure the best possible date and time for your group to enjoy a tour!

To schedule tours or learn more about our educational opportunities, ​​​​email Abigail Ramsbottom, education curator/coordinator or call 605-688-5423.

The Oscar Howe Traveling Exhibit aims to bring Oscar Howe’s life and artistic legacy to community spaces across the region. The exhibit features eight banners that explore the artistic development and biographical details of the Yanktonai Dakota artist who helped to expand the definition and understanding of Native arts. This opportunity will be free for the hosting institutions, as the South Dakota Art Museum will cover costs to ship the exhibition to and from the host organization.

Note: Stay tuned for this opportunity by checking here on our website and following our social media. This opportunity will launch in mid-summer 2023 and is projected to continue for years to come. For questions, contact Abigail Ramsbottom, Education Curator or call 605-688-6981.

Exhibition Tour

Credits and Sponsors

Dakota Modern was organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Portland Art Museum. Curated by Kathleen Ash-Milby. Major support provided by The Henry Luce Foundation. Generous support provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support provided by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.

SDAM-Dakota Modern organizing & sponsor logos: National Museum of the American Indian, Portland Art Museum, Henry Luce Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation

The exhibition of Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe and Continuum: Honoring Oscar Howe's Legacy at the South Dakota Art Museum, and corresponding education and outreach programs, is supported by many generous donors, including:

First Bank and Trust 🞄 Generous Supporter, Anonymous

South Dakota State University Office of the President  South Dakota State University Wokini Initiative Venance & Deborah Lengkeek  Meyer Orthodontics

SDAM Dakota Modern Sponsor logos: First Bank & Trust, Anonymous, SDSU Office of the President & Wokini Initiative, Venance & Deborah Lengkeek, Meyer Orthodontics

Fantle Endowment Fund, Bill & Rita Larson Endowment for Education, Carol & Alan Bender Endowment


Dorothy & Jim Morgan, Craig & Della Tschetter and The Event Company


Ruth & Eric Brown, Marcia & David Chicoine, Ruth Harper & Larry Rogers, Thomas & Sharon Haskell, Carole & Alan Johnson, Rick & Rea McKeown, Donna & Frank Merkt, Lisa Scholten, SDSU Alumni Center and SDSU Foundation,Harriet Swedlund, T&R Service Company and Sharon and Gary Van Riper

Bonnie A. Lievan in memory of Elsie Ruth Lievan

Jeanne and Tom Manzer in honor of Lanniko Lee


Significant operational support for the South Dakota Art Museum is provided by South Dakota State University. Additional support is provided by South Dakota Arts Council (with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts).

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