September 21, 2023


masterpiece of human

Oklahoma’s Beloved Statue of Native American Ballerina Stolen and Sold for $250


Previously gracing the west lawn of the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, a statue of Marjorie Tallchief was stolen, hacked to items, and uncovered to be marketed to a recycling middle in Oklahoma for about $250. Tallchief, a ballerina of Osage descent, was the first American and Indigenous American dancer to be named “première danseuse étoile” in the Paris Opera Ballet and was the sister of Maria Tallchief, the initially prima ballerina of the New York City Ballet.

The statue was a single of in series known as the Five Moons, stylizing the likenesses of five Indigenous American ballerinas: Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin, Maria Tallchief, and Marjorie Tallchief. They were sculpted by two artists nearby to Tulsa, Monte England and Gary Henson, and unveiled in 2007.

The statue was found lacking previous week, and pieces of it ended up located at a Catoosa recycling plant on Monday.

“Marjorie’s statue did not have outward appendages like the many others, and is a lot easier to transport,” Tulsa Historical Society Executive Director Michelle Area told Native News On the web, addressing why the piece may perhaps have been targeted. “Marjorie was also at the close of the statues, away from the street.”

The Tulsa Historical Modern society is boosting money to fully replace the statue and install supplemental security for the outside sculptures. As of now, its GoFundMe page has obtained more than $4,000 far more in donations than its initial purpose of $15,000. The museum claimed in an announcement on Tuesday that Henson would swap the statue inspite of not having the initial mold.

In the meantime, the museum is inquiring individuals who could possibly have know-how about the crime to mail suggestions to the Tulsa Law enforcement Section (TPD), which has released an investigation into the subject. The TPD has not yet responded to Hyperallergic’s fast request for remark.

At the time Henson unveiled the authentic sculpture, he explained that the get the job done was an “opportunity to categorical my have appreciation for ballet.”

“It’s a way of wanting at the human affliction,” Henson continued. “Here are these five American Indian females who are capable to do astounding points — to transfer in strategies that most of us can only dream about — and who had been in a position to succeed when they received their possibility.”


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