Link to Western Michigan University HomepageWestern Michigan University bannerLink to Library Homepage

Thursday, November 9, 2017

November, Native American Heritage Month

Much of the Native American art at WMU is centered in Waldo Library. Displays throughout the building of Native American culture are highlighted for November, Native American Month.

President Emeriti, Dwight B. Waldo in the 1930s supported a movement to establish a museum collection at Western State Teachers College for the benefit of students and staff. He had a career-long interest in historical and antiquarian materials and began assembling pieces for this collection. Mr. and Mrs. Waldo had secured an unusual collection of rock specimens, American Indian items, and a collection of Alaskan pieces that were gifted towards the museum collection effort. Today, you can view Native American culture in three locations in Waldo.



A permanent display of Native American artifacts shows the artistry of glass beadwork on leather in clothing of the Plains Indians - Lakota and Sioux Nation. Located on first floor near Classroom A are seven beaded items.

An exhibit case that displays books, prints, pottery and other artifacts of Native Americans is a collaboration of the Division of Multicultural Affairs and Special Collections and Rare Books Room of University Libraries. Located on third floor near rotunda this display continues through November.

The Kiowa Five Painters are mentioned in a wall display on second floor near stairwell 3. They combined traditional and modern techniques to produce images of current ceremonies as well as their historic past. The Kiowa painters were prominent in the development of contemporary Indian painting, and led the early 'Oklahoma school' of work. The three artists featured are Jack Hokeah, Stephen Mopope, and Monroe Tsatoke.

Over eighteen paintings, works from the 1937, and 3 weavings, including a basket are part of the  Dwight B. Waldo Collection on second floor.

The beautiful Native American pieces that are on exhibit at Waldo Library are from the WMU Permanent Art Collection and serve as tribute to many Native American cultures.

University Libraries have many resources to research Native Americans history and culture. Use Library Search on the Library home page: wmich.edu/library and consult with a subject librarian at Ask Us http://wmich.libanswers.com