Object photography

View of the artwork on display in 'Intersections: Native American Art in a New Light'; Peabody Essex Museum; 2006 through 2012.
Click image to enlarge +

Object description

  • David Bradley (White Earth Ojibwe, birth 1954)
  • Hopi Maiden IV, about 2000
  • Ink on paper
  • New Mexico, United States
  • H: 29 1/2 in, W: 22 1/4 in (H: 74.9 cm, W: 56.5 cm)
  • Gift from James and Margie Krebs Collection of Native American Art, 2001
  • E301832
  • Commentary on the marketing and consumption of Native art and culture using familiar imagery
  • Artist well-known for conveying political messages using irony in his art

Bradley’s central image is his rendition of an iconic Native American photograph taken of a Hopi Maiden by a late 19th-century photographer Edward S. Curtis, who was documenting the "dying race" of the "noble savage". Bradley’s maiden is overlaid on gift-wrapping paper that features images of Katsinas, Hopi spirit beings who bring rains for the harvest and serve as divine messengers during ceremonies. Katsina dolls are given to Hopi girls and newly married Hopi women following these ceremonies to serve as reminders of important cultural beliefs and values. Originally made only for religious and educational use within the Hopi communities, Hopi began to sell and trade katsina dolls on a wide scale. By combining the familiar Hopi maiden with the katsina dolls, Bradley comments on the commercialization of Hopi culture and identity.