chapter  14
18 Pages

Artistic Colonialism

ByBen Burt

This chapter outlines artistic representation of indigenous people and places by settler colonists of North America an Australasia, in the process of constructing identities for themselves and for those they displaced. In the colonial homelands, the glories of empire were proclaimed through stereotyped images personifying the exotic wealth of far-flung dominions, while in the colonies settlers represented the new homelands they sought to create. In colonial images, Native North Americans became the epitome of the “noble savage,” especially those in the west who avoided conquest long enough to be portrayed with the technologies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the process of replacing indigenous peoples, colonial settlers also asserted claims to their land and culture symbolically through new styles of artefacts. In Calcutta, this European school of art became associated with the development of Indian cultural nationalism during the period of greatest colonial repression, in the early twentieth century.