The connection between Marco’s DAR and a school in Oklahoma

Chris Curle
Special to the Eagle
One of the many sketches by the late Kiowa artist, Robert “Hantso” Cannon.

Marco Island historian Betsy Perdichizzi departed from her usual presentations about Marco’s rich history to introduce members of the Marco Island DAR to a famous Indian artist in Oklahoma.

At the Jan. 21 Zoom meeting, she presented pen and ink drawings of animal, spiritual and tribal prints by the late Kiowa artist, Robert “Hantso” Cannon.

Perdichizzi was a friend and classmate of Hantso’s wife, Yvonne Cannon in Duncan, OK. Before Yvonne died in 2020, she left Perdichizzi a legacy of her husband’s signed and dated prints.

“She gave me the prints in 2018 because of her bad health. I haven't known what to do with them until I discovered the DAR connection with Bacone College,” Perdichizzi explained.

Perdichizzi said the artist concentrated on three groups, “animal, spiritual and tribal. He liked to tell a story with his drawings.”

Robert Cannon served in the U.S. Army and then returned to Oklahoma to attend Bacone Indian College in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Perdichizzi is donating proceeds from the prints to the college though the national DAR, which has been a sponsor of the college.  

“Anyone who is interested in this unique Indian art can contact me at betsyperd@comcast.net. I have multiple copies of some prints.”

Founded in 1880 by Almon C. Bacone, the liberal arts college is the oldest continuously operated institution of higher education in Oklahoma with strong ties to five Oklahoma Tribes, including the Kiowa.

Just a few days before the Marco DAR meeting, Denise VanBuren, president general of the National Society of DAR visited Bacone College to deliver $22,500 in donations toward food and school supplies for students, art gallery lighting and a new roof for the Center for American Indians. “That brings total donations to date during my administration to $117,500 – all made possible by our heartfelt support of our native people.”  

 Writing about her visit, Van Buren said, “Bacone was approved as a DAR sponsored school in 1946. So, this year marks the 75th anniversary of DAR support. Imagine the lives that we have improved during three quarters of a century!”

In return for the DAR donation, the college will name a gallery of Native Art The VanBuren Sunshine Gallery. The college also presented her and three other DAR representatives with ceremonial tribal blankets.

DAR is a service organization with 180,000 members in three-thousand chapters worldwide. Members are women 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot in the American Revolution.

Monthly DAR meetings are at 10:30 a.m., the third Thursday of each month, via the internet these days, followed by lunch, in person. Members also meet casually between meetings, just for friendship and fun. The chapter has 73 members and welcomes visitors from other chapters. Contact Ellen Camm, ellencammg@gmail.com, 317-372-1174

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