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Original Painting of Cheyenne Indians on Horseback by Archie Blackowl [SOLD]

C4209A-paint.jpg

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Archie Blackowl, Cheyenne Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Cheyenne Nation
  • Medium: Tempera
  • Size:
    18-7/8” x 22-1/2” image;
    27-1/4” x 31” framed
  • Item # C4209A
  • SOLD

This painting by influential Cheyenne artist Archie Blackowl is large, colorful, and enticing while depicting his culture and way of life. Blackowl’s work with his human and animal subjects is as strong as ever here.  Each face is unique, each body carefully proportioned, and each active limb positioned realistically.  He uses creative license in their coloring, with outlines that are just slightly lighter or darker than the colors used within.  The light blue horse is outlined with a precisely applied, slightly darker blue. The woman’s dark blue dress is outlined with light blue.  The soft skin tones are outlined with a strong, darker brown. These color choices add depth to the figures’ contours. The ground upon which the horses trot is lovely too, with two series of winding lines that begin, at their highest points, with darker colors and end with soft, light tones.  A row of hills is barely visible in the distance, and a massive cloud formation fills out the copper sky. 

At 19 by 22 inches—or 28 by 31, if the frame is included in measurement—it’s significantly larger than any Blackowl painting we’ve handled.  Much of this space is unpainted, allowing the rich, copper-colored paper to create a gorgeous sky. Blackowl’s subjects here are three Cheyenne Indians on two horses, traveling across the plains.  In the front, a woman and her child tow a what is known as a “travois.” Behind them, a male hunter carries a bow and quiver. The child, wearing moccasins and a loin cloth, turns back towards the hunter.  The hunter looks straight ahead, as does the woman. The travois most likely carries the family’s teepee and belongings. If this is the case, the presence of a series of teepees in the distance suggests that this family is moving to a new area.

Blackowl’s work with his human and animal subjects is as strong as ever here.  Each face is unique, each body carefully proportioned, and each active limb positioned realistically.  He uses creative license in their coloring, with outlines that are just slightly lighter or darker than the colors used within.  The light blue horse is outlined with a precisely applied, slightly darker blue. The woman’s dark blue dress is outlined with light blue.  The soft skin tones are outlined with a strong, darker brown. These color choices add depth to the figures’ contours. The ground upon which the horses trot is lovely too, with two series of winding lines that begin, at their highest points, with darker colors and end with soft, light tones.  A row of hills is barely visible in the distance, and a massive cloud formation fills out the copper sky.

Archie Blackowl (1911-1992) MisTaMooToVa - Flying Hawk was a talented and influential Cheyenne artist who worked in the traditional style for most of his long career. Blackowl, a descendent of Cheyenne chiefs Roman Nose and Crow Necklace, was born in Weatherford, Oklahoma. He was interested in art at a very young age, but did not begin painting seriously until the early 1930s. He worked a wide variety of jobs, most of which were related in some way to his natural abilities as a painter. He was most often recognized for his skills as a muralist. "Blackowl became aware of art at the age of six when he saw old Red Tooth painting a skin tipi. Encouraged by Woodrow Wilson Crumbo, he began to paint seriously in the early 1930s. During his many years as an artist he maintained his traditional style, portraying accurately the Cheyenne traditions and culture that he experienced in his life.  In his art as in his life he remained faithful to his heritage." (Snodgrass, 1968)

Blackowl’s works, which celebrate Cheyenne life and culture with the detail and accuracy of the best traditionalists, are included in numerous prestigious private and public collections. These collections include the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, and the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.  He exhibited extensively and successfully at Oklahoma’s major museums during his career, and received many awards for his works. Blackowl passed away in Oklahoma in 1992.

Artist Signature - Archie Blackowl (1911-1992) MisTaMooToVa - Flying HawkThe painting is signed “A. Blackowl” in lower right, and framed beneath a soft purple mat and glare-resistant acrylic.



Condition: this Original Painting of Cheyenne Indians on Horseback by Archie Blackowl is in excellent condition

Provenance: from the estate of Frances Balcomb, through a daughter.

Recommended Reading: Jeanne Snodgrass’ American Indian Painters: A Biographical Directory

Relative Links: Native Painting, Cheyenne Indians, Archie BlackowlWoodrow Wilson Crumbo

Close up view of a section of this amazing painting.

Archie Blackowl, Cheyenne Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Cheyenne Nation
  • Medium: Tempera
  • Size:
    18-7/8” x 22-1/2” image;
    27-1/4” x 31” framed
  • Item # C4209A
  • SOLD

C4209A-paint.jpgC4209A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.