Ostrom Collection

"Cricket." Eleanor Kanasawe.(2015-03-0157)

Collection Highlights

“Red-winged Blackbird.” Eleanor Kansawe . (2015-03-0173)


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. Kanasawe's painting style can be considered part of the second generation of "Woodland style" of Legend Painting.


"Raccoon" (2015.03.0166); "Cardinal" (2015.03.0160); "Turtles" (2015.03.0155)

Birch Boxes

The Ostrom Collection also has an array of handmade birch bark boxes made by the Ojibwe women. Each box holds a distinctive design, and the intricacies are a combination of hand dyed porcupine quills and intricate weaving patterns.  The birch boxes made in both round and rectangular shapes are significantly exceptional as well as the skill and techniques used to create them.


"Round lidded birch bark box with raccoon quillwork" (2015.03.0146); "Birch bark box with fox quillwork" (2015.03.0144); "Rectangular birch bark box with hinged lid" (2015.03.0134)