Collection Name: State of Utah Alice Merrill Horne Art Collection
Accession ID: 2019.11
Copyright: Copyright All Years. Utah Division of Arts & Museums. All Rights Reserved.
View all works by: Joseph Bennion
Large stoneware platter shape with images of the two side of the Buffalo Nickel (US currency) The platter is split across the middle by a representation of train tracks.
"This piece is intended to portray the impact of the Transcontinental Rail Road on the Indigenous Peoples of the Great Plains. The words on this piece are taken from the 1868 Laramie Treaty between the US Government and the Lakota People. The Lakota People could not foresee the day when the great herds would not cover the plains. The role of the railroad in decimating the bison herds is well known. It was intentional and planned in advance of the 1868 treaty. Bennion decided to portray the Indian and the bison as they appear ironically on the Buffalo/Indian Head Nickel minted between 1913 and 1933 to honor these two icons of the west. As background elements he chose historic photographs of a dead bison and the frozen corpse of Spotted Elk also known as Big Foot who was killed at the Wounded Knee Massacre January 29, 1890. It was the last armed confrontation between Indians and US Army." Joseph Bennion