Arts of the Americas
Cloth, beads, sequins, metal clasps, chain
excluding beaded drops along bottom of heel and toe: 10 × 6 1/2 × 2 1/2 in. (25.4 × 16.5 × 6.4 cm)
This item is not on view
Gift of the Edward J. Guarino Collection in memory of Edgar J. Guarino
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Iroquois. Boot Whimsy, ca. 1900. Cloth, beads, sequins, metal clasps, chain, excluding beaded drops along bottom of heel and toe: 10 × 6 1/2 × 2 1/2 in. (25.4 × 16.5 × 6.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Edward J. Guarino Collection in memory of Edgar J. Guarino, 2016.11.22. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.TL2016.18.22.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2016
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
High heeled boot-shaped whimsy of pink cloth decorated with beaded designs of two American flags and raised flowers on the ankle and a large flower and leaves on the foot. Bead colors include clear, red, blue, green, gold, and brown. The entire piece is edged with clear beads and the heel and toe have a looped fringe of clear, green, gold and brown beads. Metallic sequins provide additional ornamentation. A short, chain-link strap is attached to the top with two metal clasps in the shape of decorative V's.
"Whimsy" is what these items are called because they serve no practical purpose but have fun shapes and are highly artistic. Many whimsies were created as art objects to be sold to non-Native customers who used them as symbols of status. Owners would exhibit such items in their guest parlors to stimulate conversations about where they might have traveled and who they met during their experiences. American flag motifs were extremely popular not only for items sold to non-Natives, but also for Native American-owned objects.
The flag motif was used for multiple reasons:
1) There was a major Centennial celebration around 1900 and fervor for flags so the motifs appealed to non-Native aesthetic tastes.
2) By 1918, people were starting to honor veterans from World War I as well as nostalgia for Civil War veterans in the North. Many veterans were Native as well as non-Native.
3) Native people used other flag motifs on clothing and horse gear to symbolize their identity and warrior status, and this idea translated over to the American flag. By co-opting this image, Native people were subtly implying that they had power too.
4) Native people recognized that flags also symbolized courage and honor, attributes that they ascribed to themselves.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.