Art and Eskimo Power: The Life and Times of Alaskan Howard Rock

Lael Morgan, Author Epicenter Press $16.95 (258p) ISBN 978-0-945397-03-8
A talented though moderately successful Eskimo painter, Rock (1911-1976) gained real prominence as founding editor of the Tundra Times and for his instrumental role in the legislation of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971. Rock's intriguing story merits telling, as it charts the awakening not only of a gifted, sensitive and resilient individual but of his people, while offering a ``portrait of the artist'' that is suggestively universal. Morgan ( The Aleutians ) weaves an impressive body of research into an effective novelistic format. We follow with interest the progress of a promising but assimilative art career at the University of Washington; Rock's conflict-ridden, alcohol-dependent years in Seattle and, finally, his instinctive return to Alaska in 1961. As Rock's despondency gives way to renewed ethnic pride, Morgan, without editorializing, makes clear the just irony of Rock using his Western education as a weapon in the battle to save aboriginal Alaskans threatened by economic collapse and loss of their land. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Hardcover - 258 pages - 978-0-945397-02-1
Paperback - 258 pages - 978-1-60223-021-7
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