Installed at the MFA’s entrance in 1912, Dallin’s monumental equestrian sculpture is one of the Museum’s most visible—and understudied—works of art. Does Appeal to the Great Spirit portray a dignified Native American figure, as the artist intended, or does it simply uphold the 19th-century stereotype of Native Americans as a “vanishing race”? Reexamine the sculpture from multiple perspectives and work toward future strategies for interpretation and public engagement.
Emily Burns, assistant professor, Art History, Auburn University
Heather Leavell, director and curator, Cyrus Dallin Art Museum
Jami Powell, associate curator of Native American Art, Hood Museum of Art
Moderated by Elizabeth Solomon, Member of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag