Rotating Exhibits at CWS
The Center has several display cases throughout the galleries that exhibit materials on a variety of changing themes. The current exhibits are:
Blue Cloud Abbey-American Indian Culture Research Center Artifacts
In 2012, the Center for Western Studies was named the new repository for the research collections of the American Indian Culture Research Center formerly located at Blue Cloud Abbey in northeastern South Dakota. The Center is honored to receive these collections which include more than 1,000 artifacts related to the Lakota and Dakota Sioux and Benedictine missionary efforts in the state. While there is much work to be done to prepare the collections for public access, staff have placed several representative pieces on exhibit, including a men's shirt made of hide and a baby cradle. They demonstrate the amazing craftsmanship of the Sioux people.
Mohrman Collection of Pardell and Whitten Bronzes
Paul ('72) and Julie Mohrman recently donated 29 bronzes by C. A. Pardell and Willy Whitten to the Center's Fine Art Collection. Several of the pieces are currently on display in the Fantle Building's Elmen Gallery and Froiland Plains Indian Room. The bronzes depict Native American themes, such as counting coup and the Sun Dance ritual, and people, such as Mato'-to'pe or Chief Four Bears (pictured above).
Getting Hitched in Iowa during the Great Depression: A Case Study
Edwin Hesby of Arlington, SD, met Pearl Lewison of Sioux Rapids, IA, in 1936. After several years of long-distance courting, the two were wed in Sioux Rapids in 1939. Pearl kept very detailed records for much of her life, and this display explores the expenses paid for her wedding during the Great Depression. Costs are compared to the average amounts spent by Iowa brides in 2011.
Stephen R. and Annie B. (Ackley) Riggs
Stephen R. Riggs was an early Congregational missionary to the Sioux in Minnesota and Dakota Territory. His life has been studied at length, but little has been known about his second marriage to Annie B. Ackley, a teacher who had previously worked at one of Riggs' missions and even taught his children. The Center recently received a new collection of Riggs family papers that includes correspondence from Stephen to Annie. Several of these enlightening letters are now on display.
Plains Indian Artifacts
This display in the Elmen Gallery includes several artifacts representing significant aspects of Plains Indian culture. One exhibited item of note is Frank Fools Crow's pipe which the Ceremonial Chief of the Oglala Lakota used in many spiritual and educational ceremonies during his nearly 100-year lifetime. The pieces are donations from former CWS Executive Director Sven Froiland and author Thomas E. Mails. Additional donations from Sven Froiland can be found in the Froiland Plains Indian Room at the Center.
There are exhibits on permanent themes in addition to those listed above.