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By thisistwitchy  •  February 25, 2005 08:21 AM

Check out these two pieces of art. The first, drawn by the late artist Thomas E. Mails, was published in a 1972 book called The Mystic Warriors of the Plains. The second, titled “Winter Attack,” was “drawn” by University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill.

thomas mails.jpg
Photo credit: CBS4 Denver.

Photo credit: CBS4 Denver.

CBS4 Denver has the details:

Boulder County resident Duke Prentup has been a fan of native American art for as long as he can remember. That love of art took him to the home of Ward Churchill in the early 1980’s, where Prentup bought several pieces of Churchill’s art, including a serigraph titled “Winter Attack.”

“I have enjoyed them ever since immensely, they’re obviously up inside my house,” Prentup said.

Last month came a stunning revelation, though, as as Prentup flipped through a 1972 book called The Mystic Warriors of the Plains written and illustrated by the late artist Thomas E. Mails. He found a sketch that was strikingly similar to the Churchill piece.

Read the whole story here.

If you like “Winter Attack,” you can buy it on ebay here. Warning: it ain’t cheap.

Was “Winter Attack” the first time Ward Churchill copied someone else’s art? Reader Anthony J. sends two photos that suggest otherwise. The first photo, below, is “Little Big Man,” by Charles M. Bell. Read about it here.

The second photo is of a matted ink sketch for sale on ebay. Look familiar? The seller says the print was purchased in 1980 directly from the “artist,” Ward Churchill.


ward churchill little big man large.JPG

The FReepers are all over this. See here.

Update: On a related note, as state Sen. Mark Hillan of Colorado reported, Churchill was blocked from selling art marketed as “Indian art” under a federal law in 1990. He had been unmasked by a bona fide Indian artist, David Bradley of Santa Fe, who told the Rocky Mountain News:

“If his bosses had simply done their jobs, if they had checked him out, if they had started reading his damn writing, they would have said, ‘Wait a minute! This falls below our standards,’ ” Bradley said.

“If they had, he wouldn’t have tenure. It was a failure every step of the way.”

Update II: Look! More Ward Churchill originals here and here.

Update III: CBS4 Denver has video of an altercation between Churchill and its cameraman. Go here and click on the item that says “CBS4 Video: Churchill’s Aggressive Response To Artwork Controversy.”

Update IV: A FReeper has found another Churchill copycat piece. No kidding. Scroll down to post 381 by shezza. (Hat tip: Anthony.)

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