Businessman, Bibliophile, and Patron: Edward E. Ayer and His Collection of American Indian Art

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Abstract

Businessman Edward E. Ayer, one of the early trustees of Chicago's Newberry Library, amassed more than 100,000 books, numerous manuscripts, and hundreds of drawings and paintings relating to the history of American Indian and European interaction. He began collecting books in 1864 after his confrontation with Indians as a California volunteer during the Civil War. His art collection was garnered from contemporary artists, most notably his own nephew, Elbridge Ayer Burbank, making him not only a collector but an art patron. Also included in the collection are 160 drawings by children and adults at Fort Yates, North Dakota, and a large number of contemporary photographs, including 50 portraits by Frederick Rinehart of tribal chiefs at the Omaha Exposition in 1899.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
JournalGreat Plains Quarterly
Volume9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1989

Keywords

  • library collections
  • libraries
  • Native Americans
  • art collecting
  • drawing
  • literature
  • arts patronage
  • Indian art
  • United States history
  • modern art

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