Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Between two worlds: Revisiting the life and work of Minnesota master George Morrison

George Morrison was born in 1919 in the now-vanished town of Chippewa City near the Grand Portage Reservation, along Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota. He was Ojibwe in an era before Native Americans could vote or were even granted citizenship in the United States, one of 12 children in an impoverished family. He was isolated from almost everything but his own community, and when he was sent to boarding school in Wisconsin at age 9 he was cut off even from them.

Yet by the early 1940s, Morrison was in art school in Minneapolis, at what would become MCAD, and in 1943 he would leave for New York. He had a full scholarship to study there with the famously innovative Art Students League, and he would work and exhibit with Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, and other well-known avant-garde artists of the time. His abstract artworks were shown and collected by museums around the country, and then, by the late 1960s, largely forgotten.


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