The Garden

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

(St. Ignatius, Indian Mission Flathead Reservation, Montana, 1940 - )


Oil and found objects on canvas

60 x 120 in. (152.4 x 304.8 cm)

Gift of David H. Jacobs

1996.13 a,b

More Information

Born on the Flathead Reservation in Montana, Quick-to-See Smith is a Native American artist who combines references to contemporary art (including Abstract Expressionist painting and Pop art) with an interest in the subjects and imagery of indigenous cultures. Along the bottom edge of this painting, Quick-to-See Smith inscribed a quotation attributed to Chief Noah Seattle, who lived in the Pacific Northwest region in the nineteenth century and who advised the newly arrived Anglo-American settlers to preserve the natural balance of the landscape. Quick-to-See Smith amplifies Seattle’s plea for environmental harmony through the vigorously painted background of her canvas, which may resemble the stone walls of a canyon or cliff and suggest the natural beauty of the western region. The images of trees, men, and horses, which are similar to Indian petroglyphs, further imply man’s vital connection with nature. The curving rubber hose may be an ironic reference to the snake in the Garden of Eden, that is, the infiltration of the land by Euro-American settlers.


Each panel signed, titled and dated on verso

Found objects
Native American
Oil painting