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W. Jackson Rushing III

(b Sacramento, CA, Jan 5, 1946; d Santa Fe, NM, Dec 28, 2006).

Native American painter, printmaker and sculptor of Maidu, Hawaiian and Portuguese ancestry. Raised in Northern California, Fonseca studied at Sacramento City College and at California State University at Sacramento with Wintu artist Frank LaPena (b 1937). A leading figure in the national network of contemporary native artists that formed in the early to mid-1970s, Fonseca received the Best of Show Award in the Indian Art Now exhibition at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Sante Fe, NM, in 1979. Many honors followed, including the Allan Houser Memorial Award and an Eiteljorg Museum Fellowship for Native American Fine Art, both in 2005. Inspired by mythology, pictography and modernism, he explored oral history, media imagery and popular culture through figuration and abstraction.

Fonseca’s earliest imagery transformed indigenous designs and material culture. His Maidu Creation Story (1977) was the first of several treatments (1991, 2006) of subject matter based on the teachings of his uncle, Henry Azbill. The quiet, folkish elegance and pristine primitivism of his drawings for the anthology ...

Article

Arthur Silberman

(b Chinle, AZ, July 26, 1932).

Native American Navajo painter, printmaker and sculptor. After attending Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he majored in literature and minored in art, he received a scholarship in 1958 from the Navajo Tribal Council to study art at Mexico City College. He also studied at San Francisco State University and at other California institutions. The style that he developed stemmed from his experiences in Mexico and reveals the influence of his teachers as well as that of the Mexican muralists. He maintained a studio and gallery for his own works and those of other Native American artists in Taos, NM. While Gorman has handled such subject-matter as interpretations of Navajo rugs and pottery designs, his most successful and best-received works have been his studies of Navajo women. He portrayed them as archetypes; as monumental, nurturing ‘earth mothers’. He grouped women in conventional poses or engaged in domestic pursuits, ranging from stolid affirmations to revelations of inner beauty and grace. He used various media, sometimes painting and drawing in acrylics, pastels and pencil in the same work. He worked out personal technical processes and used these with great effectiveness. His style is well-suited to lithographs, which he has produced in great number. He has also produced sculptures....

Article

Frederick J. Dockstader

[Cheah Sequah: ‘Red Bird’]

(b Muskogee, OK, Dec 19, 1930).

Native American Creek–Cherokee painter and sculptor. Her father, William McKinley Hill, and mother, Winnie Dixie Harris, were both Creek–Cherokee. She attended elementary and high school, then Muskogee College for an AA degree, and Northeastern College for a BA (1952). She studied under various artists, including Richard West at Bacone College, Frederic Taubes (1900–82), Millard Sheets (1907–89) and Dong Kingman. Much of her later painting reflects this training. Her family included George Washington Hill, Chief of the Creek Nation, 1925–8, a background giving her work unusual fidelity. She taught briefly, but retired to paint full-time in Muskogee. She is one of the few Native American women artists to achieve success and has been a strong influence on younger women. She has been the recipient of many awards and prizes for works in almost every medium, including sculpture and collage. As a teacher she has provided a strong influence for her students and devotes considerable time to younger artists. For a decade, ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Buffalo, NY, 1950).

Tuscarora artist, writer, educator, and museum director. Hill studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1968–70), and was awarded a Master of Arts degree from SUNY, Buffalo, NY (1980).

Intrigued with Seneca General Ely Parker (General Grant’s Military Secretary), Hill investigated Parker’s life, which took him to Washington, DC, for two years. Hill began to identify with Parker’s experience and realized he would devote himself to enlightening others about Native American arts, knowledge, education, and culture.

Hill was skilled in painting, photography, carving, beading, and basket weaving, and many of these works are located at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, Quebec; the Woodland Indian Cultural Center, Brantford, Ontario; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK; the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Washington, DC; and the Seneca Iroquois National Museum, Salamanca, NY. He taught at McMaster University, Mohawk College, Six Nations Polytechnic, and SUNY at Buffalo. Hill developed a culturally based Seneca Language curriculum and training models for teaching....

Article

Arthur Silberman

[Ha-o-zous]

(b Apache, OK, June 30, 1914; d Santa Fe, NM, Aug 22, 1994).

Native American painter and sculptor. He was the son of a Chiricahua Apache (originally from Colorado and New Mexico) family who settled in Oklahoma after release from captivity at Fort Sill in 1913. As a young boy he received a full education in Chiricahua Apache customs. He later attended the Santa Fe Indian School and studied painting with Dorothy Dunn (1903–91). In 1936 he received the Arts and Crafts Award for the best work produced by a student. After graduation, he gained additional experience in oil, casein, and egg tempera painting and in fresco and secco mural techniques. His early paintings were scenes of Apache ceremonial and social life in the flat, controlled style of the Santa Fe Indian School, which also revealed his skill as a draughtsman. He painted a number of murals, including the extant series illustrating Apache dancers and people on horseback for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC (...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(b Hermiston, OR, 1946).

Native American sculptor and painter. A master sculptor of monumental and smaller works, Hyde’s work reflects his Native American ancestry (Nez Perce, Assiniboine and Chippewa). After spending much of his childhood on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho, Hyde attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) high school arts program in Santa Fe, NM, where he studied with jeweler Charles Loloma (1921–91), ceramic instructor Ottilie Loloma and famed Chiricahua sculptor Allan Houser (1914–94). Following graduation in 1966, he attended the San Francisco Art Institute (1969–71) on a scholarship and then enlisted in the US Army (1968–9). He was wounded during a tour of duty in Vietnam and while recuperating learned to work stone with power tools in a friend’s tombstone business in Lewiston, ID.

He returned to Santa Fe to teach at IAIA (1971–4) and began his career in sculpture. In his first solo show, at the Museum of the Plains Indians in Browning, MT, in ...

Article

Frederick J. Dockstader

[Kivetoruk: ‘Bark Dye’]

(b nr Cape Espenberger, AK, Feb 10, 1903; d Nome, AK, 1982).

Native American Inupiat painter and carver. His father, Kivoluk, a well-known hunter and trapper, established a string of whaling stations along the Arctic coast, but both of Moses’s parents died when he was young. He was brought up by an uncle, who taught him hunting and trapping. He attended elementary school at Shishmaref, AK, the famous carving centre. Although his sketches of Eskimo life became highly popular, he felt he could do better financially as a trapper and hunter, and abandoned art. He married Bessie Ahgupuk, of the celebrated Ahgupuk family of sculptors and painters, in 1932; they had two sons, Charles and James. He took up sketching again in 1953 while recuperating from a plane crash. At first his work was primarily pen and ink on sealskin, but he branched out over the years, and in time became the best-known artist in Nome, AK. He turned to full-time art production in ...

Article

Imre Nagy

[ Dick ] [Wah-Pah-Nah-Yah: ‘Lightfoot Runner’]

(b Darlington, OK, Sept 8, 1912; d 1996).

Native American Cheyenne painter and sculptor . He studied at the Haskell Institute, Lawrence, KS, from 1931 until 1936, then at the Bacone Junior College, Muskogee, OK, from 1936 until 1938. He received a BA degree at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, in 1941. Between 1941 and 1942 he taught as an art instructor at the Phoenix Indian School, AZ, and, after a period in the US Navy, again from 1946 until 1948. In 1947 he was appointed director of the Art Department at Bacone Junior College, a position he held until 1970. His paintings depict the traditional Plains Indian life and ancient ceremonies in a strong linear style and bold colours. He also worked as a muralist, providing murals for the U.S. Post Office, Okemah, OK (1941), the Bacone College (1963) and the North Campus of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. His Southern Cheyenne Sun Dance, the Great Medicine Lodge Ceremony...