Before joining SWAIA, Bernstein was a senior scholar in the Smithsonian’s anthropology department in Washington, D.C. Prior to that he served as assistant director for Collections and Research for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. The topic of Bernstein’s lecture is "Santa Fe and Oscar Howe: A Convergence of Artistic Promise and Genius and the Development of the Native Fine Arts Movement."

The annual Oscar Howe Memorial lecture was established in 1989 by USD to help perpetuate Howe’s message that Native American art is a vital, cultural force in today’s world and to promote cutting-edge Indian art on the Northern Plains. Past Howe Memorial Lectures have featured leading scholars and artists, including Frederick Dockstader, Richard West, Truman Lowe and W. Jackson Rushing.

Oscar Howe, Yanktonai Dakota, served as USD artist-in-residence and art faculty for 25 years. During that time he brought international recognition to The U and to South Dakota. During his 40-year career, Howe earned many honors and awards, including numerous grand and first prizes in national competitions. He was designated Artist Laureate of South Dakota, awarded the prestigious Waite Phillips trophy for Outstanding Contributions to American Indian Art and was recipient of the first Governor’s Award for Creative Achievement in the Arts.

The Oscar Howe Memorial Lecture is free to the public and will be followed by a reception for Bernstein and members of the Howe family at the USD Native American Cultural Center. This event is held in conjunction with Northern Plains Indian Market, a project of Sinte Gleska University, Sept. 26-28 in Sioux Falls. Additional information about Northern Plains Indian Market is available at

For more information about the Oscar Howe Memorial Lecture, please contact The University of South Dakota Director of Art Galleries John A. Day at (605) 677-3177 or A photo of Bernstein is available for download at

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