The sun is an important spiritual being in American Indian cosmologies. In Paul Goble’s illustrations, it is usually a solid, bright red, though occasionally pink or yellow. Goble’s sun is often surrounded by concentric rays built of paired isosceles triangles, a traditional Plains Indian design called “war bonnet.” Revered by Plains Indians as a source of life and renewal, Goble’s suns and rays symbolize its power and importance as well as harmony and unity.
This exhibition shares some of the illustrations in which Goble’s sun makes an appearance. Books featured include Beyond the Ridge, Buffalo Woman, Crow Chief, The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, The Gift of the Sacred Dog, Her Seven Brothers, Love Flute and Remaking the Earth.
All of the books these illustrations are drawn from are available for reference in the exhibition gallery. Many are also available for purchase in the South Dakota Art Museum Store.
Illustration from "The Gift of the Sacred Dog"
watercolor and ink
Collection of the South Dakota Art Museum
Gift of Paul and Janet Goble
Conservation funding provided by Institute of Museum and Library Services, Museums for America Grant and Museum Visitors.