Ledger Drawings, 1930s
John Little Crow (Hunkpapa Lakota, dates unknown)
Watercolor and graphite on laid paper
Collection of the Speed Art Museum, from Frederick Weygold 2016.4.140, .146, .149, .156
Cheaper by the dozen? These drawings, which illustrate heroic deeds of the Hunkpapa Lakota leader Sitting Bull, all suffer similar condition problems. The conservator will approach each drawing similarly, making individual treatments cheaper by doing more at the same time. If you’re a bargain shopper, then sponsorship of these drawings may be for you! All drawings have reddish-brown staining along the right edge, perhaps the result of bleeding of the painted edge of the paper when the sheets were originally bound together. They are also marked by dirt or soiling overall. The conservator will surface clean the drawings and spot-clean the stains, likely washing the drawings on a suction table. This allows for greater control by quickly extracting moisture from the paper using suction. Not only will the drawings improve visually, but chemical stabilization of the paper will improve their long-term preservation. Won’t you be a hero and help preserve these drawings?