George Morrison

George Morrison (1919–2000) (Ojibwe) was a founding figure of Native American modernism. Primarily a painter and sculptor, his work drew from and expanded the 19th- and 20th-century traditions often associated with emerging European and American visuality.

Morrison’s recent exhibitions include Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison, a traveling exhibition organized by Minnesota Museum of American Art (2013–2015), and Native Modernism: the Art of George Morrison and Allan Houser at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (2004–2005). Group exhibitions include Stretching the Canvas: Eight Decades of Native Painting at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York (2019–2022); Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now, at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas (2018-2019); and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe (2019). He was honored in a White House ceremony when his Red Totem (1980) was a part of the 1997 exhibition, Twentieth Century American Sculpture at The White House: Honoring Native America. In 2022, the United States Postal Service honored Morrison with a series of commemorative stamps featuring five works from Morrison’s horizon series, which were inspired by his views of Lake Superior. He served as a professor in the departments of Studio Arts and American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. 

A member of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Morrison was born on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota’s Chippewa City, and from 1983 until his passing lived and worked at his studio home, which he called Red Rock, in Grand Portage, Minnesota. 

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