The Eleanor and Vincent Ostrom Collection
The Eleanor and Vincent Ostrom Collection is unique in its contents as well as the way it was collected. The Ostroms are incredible individuals who were important to Indiana University and academia. In 2009, Eleanor Ostrom was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Spending their summers on Manitoulin Island, Eleanor and Vincent gained an appreciation for the local indigenous art and crafts and began to collect some of the more awe-inspiring and remarkable pieces like the birch bark box pictured above(MM249.098). The Ostroms always held a special interest in both traditional and contemporary work by North American Indians.
Screen-prints and Birchbark Boxes
The paintings featured in the collection were all painted by the same artist, Eleanor Kanasawe, and allow for the spread of the Anishinaabeg traditions. These works of art serve as visual representations of legends that are prevalent in the history of the Ojibwe people. It is but one way they preserve and transmit their spiritual heritage beyond oral and written tradition.