Mary Sully, Ella Deloria and Ethnographic Surrealism

Todd Richardson (University of Nebraska, Omaha)

My paper will consider the life and work of Mary Sully, avant-garde artist and sister of famed folklorist Ella Deloria. Specifically, I will consider Sully’s personality prints, a series which depicts a variety of Twentieth century celebrities in triptychs mixing Art Nouveau and Native aesthetics, as a form of ethnographic surrealism. Primarily, the aim of this paper is to familiarize more people with the singular, thought-provoking work of Mary Sully. However, I have a secondary aim as well, and that is to expand the idea of ethnography to include more experimental, imaginative forms like Sully’s personality prints.

Part of 01-09 Folklore, Art, and Education, Thursday, November 02, 8:30 am–10:00 am