The painter with the golden touch

By Suzanne Smith Arney

It was an opening at a New York City gallery in 1978. Ernest Garthwaite ’62 M.A. was exhibiting a series of paintings under the title Cree Skins. Unannounced, a native Cree in full tribal dress entered the room and began to dance. Chanting and swirling, his presence astonished the crowd, no one more so than Garthwaite himself. “I was completely surprised,” says Garthwaite, “and felt deeply honored by his ceremonial tribute.” The stranger left as mysteriously as he had arrived.

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