Sioux Horse Effigy

by Katlyn Richter on May 23, 2014 · 0 comments

South Dakota’s own Sioux Horse Effigy, an artifact from the collection of the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society, is presently on display in a groundbreaking exhibition of Plains Indian masterworks, entitled  “The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky.” We worked very closely with exhibition organizers to ensure the safety and security of the effigy as it is exhibited in three of the best art museums in the world.


The new international, traveling exhibition opened in Paris at musée du quai Branly on April 7. It was organized by quai Branly in partnership with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is curated by Gaylord Torrence, one of the nation’s leading scholars of Plains Indian art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum.


“The Plains Indians” will be on view at quai Branly until July 20.  It travels to the Nelson-Atkins Museum for display from Sept. 19 to Jan. 11, 2015. The final stop for the exhibition is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from March 2 to May 10, 2015.


To have one of our prized artifacts included in an exhibit of this magnitude is a great opportunity for the Museum to call attention to our amazing collection. This magnificent artifact, which also serves as the logo of our organization, will be seen by approximately one million people over the next 12 months. We are presently planning a celebration of the Sioux Horse Effigy when it returns to the Cultural Heritage Center in 2015.


This is not the first time the Sioux Horse Effigy has been displayed overseas.   It traveled to Great Britain in 1977 as part of the “Sacred Circles” exhibition.  The effigy was singled out at the time as a unique and important artifact by scholars and art historians during its first run overseas.  This new exhibition promises to bring even more attention to the object – and awareness for the Historical Society and the State of South Dakota as people recognize the great cultural heritage and history of the Mount Rushmore state.


The exhibition, and the inclusion of the effigy, continues to generate a great deal of publicity for the Museum.  The effigy was recently featured in an article in the Kansas City Star about the exhibit, and news stories have appeared in over three dozen news organizations in four states.  Additionally, updates about the effigy can be seen in an exhibit at the Cultural Heritage Center that features the travels of the effigy, as well as Museum’s Facebook page:


For more information about the Sioux Horse Effigy, the traveling exhibit, or the Cultural Heritage Center, visit or call 605.773.3458.

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