A Different Kind of Ledger Art, by a Different Kind of Ledger Artist

In the 18th century, Native American artists began drawing depictions of battles and hunts on ledger paper. The practice was an evolution that had to do with a shortage of the canvas previously used by Natives—animal pelts—and the availability of new artists' supplies, including pencils, pens, and crayons. Ledger art, or Plains Ledger Art, is particularly identified with the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Kiowa Indians who were taught to use the new materials while imprisoned at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida, in the late 1870s. In recent years, contemporary Native artists including Chris Pappan and the quilt maker Susan Hudson have put their own spin on the form.

Michael Aaron Williams is not (as far as we can tell) Native American, nor are his subjects, and he might not even be familiar with the Native American ledger art tradition—but he's created beautiful images, using coffee and ink, on pieces of antique ledger paper. These pictures were found on Williams' official Facebook page.

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

Ledger art by Michael Aaron Williams

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A Different Kind of Ledger Art, by a Different Kind of Ledger Artist

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