Dakota Art Challenges

The restoration of the Minnesota Capitol has also restored one of its original purposes: to showcase art. Go to:  https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2017/08/restoration-minnesota-capitol-has-also-restored-one-its-original-purposes-sh?utm_source=MinnPost-RSS&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+minnpost+%28MinnPost.com+-+Minnesota+News+and+Analysis%29

As you may know, there is an Art Subcommitee on Capitol art. Go to: http://mn.gov/admin/capitol-restoration/about/preservation-commission/art/

• John LaBatte has posted this essay on his blog which was prompted by recent comments made about artwork in the State Capitol Building. He discussed the Art Subcommittee,  warrior attire, and the painting “Attack on New Ulm” by Anton Gag,  providing 29 first-person accounts of how Dakota warriors were dressed in battle and going to battle. They did fight shirtless. The committee needs to do their homework before deciding on removing this painting. https://dakotawar1862.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/war-general-warrior-attire/#more-661

Noted historian/editor Don Heinrich Tolzmann sent this letter to the Arts Commission regarding their decision to review art at the Minnesota State Capitol grounds.

RE: The Dakota War Panorama, by John Stevens

Dear Committee Members,

By way of comparison with the art under review, it would be advisable to also examine the Dakota War Panorama by John Stevens, which was completed shortly after the Dakota War, and put in display by 1865.

 This panorama was based on eyewitness accounts from Lavina Eastlick whose family had been part of the Lake Shetek massacre. Stevens' paintings, although not as professionally done as others, come as close as possible to being documents of actual events based on eyewitness accounts. They will be of interest for scenes of these events, including the attire of those involved.

 Copies of his paintings can be found in: War for the Plains, by the Editors of Tme-Life Books(Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1994), pp. 49-52.

 Also, see the following article on the Stevens Panorama: Bertha L. Heilbron, “Documentary Panorama,” Minnesota History Magazine. Vol. 30: 1 (1949): 14-23.


 Regarding Lavina Eastlick and John Stevens, see: Curtis A. Dahlin, Calamity at Lake Shetek: The Death of a Settlement. (Roseville, Minnesota, 2015), p. 82.


Don Heinrich Tolzmann, Ph.D.

Family and Friends of Dakota Uprising Victims: http://www.dakotavictims1862.com