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From Field to Studio: The art of Paul Kane - page 24 / 36





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PKI Teaching Guide

Page 24 of 36

What issues are raised (if any) given the differences between the sketch and the finished oil painting?


Ask students to research the story of George Gustav Heye (see supplementary

reading 8.1). Ask them how this story could be related to the accomplishments of Paul Kane.

Are these men of their times or do they raise ethical questions in their own time?


Paul Kane collected many pipes on his journey. Have students research this issue as it

relates to First Nations and Métis cultures.


Using the material contained on the Paul Kane Interactive DVD and other sources

have students investigate how and why Paul Kane used artifacts in his pictures. Determine

the significance of this approach in terms of the accuracy of his portrayal of his subjects.


For many First Nations and Métis people today the artifact collections held in many

museums is controversial. Ask students to create a list of some pros and cons of these items

being held in museums.


Discuss what is meant by repatriation. Ask students to research landmark examples of

acts of repatriation such as those listed on http://www.caslon.com.au/repatriationnote10.htm . Include in the discussion the August 2006 return by the Swedish Museum of Ethnography of

the G'psgolox Pole to the Haisla/Henaksiala people in Kitamaat, British Columbia (e.g., http://www.ammsa.com/raven/Raven-Aug2-2006.html .


Ask students to locate and report on examples of the appropriation of cultural artifacts

by private collectors and museums around the world. Encourage students to include examples of museums working with First Nations and other cultures to resolve issues concerning the preservation, display, and repatriation of artifacts.


Have a class debate about repatriation issues including the value of Paul Kane’s

contribution to the historical record. Discuss the issue of repatriation of cultural artifacts to

nations in which the artifacts originated. Ask students to brainstorm a list of concerns from the perspectives of the museums (e.g., artifact preservation, display, and education) and those of First Nations and Métis people. Reinforce with students the importance for First Nations and

Métis people to determine the use of historical First Nations and Métis artifacts.

Supplementary Reading:

8.1 The Story of George Gustav Heye Source: www.nmai.si.edu

George Gustav Heye (1874-1957) founded the Museum of the American Indian in 1916 in New York City and served as its director until 1956. His personal collection of Native American materials, gathered during a 45-year period, became the basis of the museum's

From Field to Studio: The art of Paul Kane

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