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Original Painting of Creek Indian and Circular Cityscape

C4148K-paint.jpg

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Fred Beaver (1911-1980) Ekalanee
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Creek Nation
  • Medium: tempera
  • Size:
    14-1/2" by 12-3/8" image;
    21” x 19” matted - unframed
  • Item # C4148K
  • Price: $495.00

Fred Beaver (1911-1980) Ekalanee was a Creek-Seminole Native American painter.  His Muscogee name was Ekalanee, which means "Brown Head."  In 1931, he graduated from Eufaula High School where he was an All-State football and basketball player. He attended Bacone College, and in 1935 graduated from Haskell Business College. He worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Army Air Corps until 1960 when he retired to pursue a career of painting full time.  In 1963, he won the Phillips Outstanding Indian Artist Trophy. He was commissioned to paint several murals in businesses including the Thunderbird Restaurant and Motel in Oklahoma City and the Seminole Arts and Crafts Center in West Hollywood, Florida. His awards are too numerous to list here, but several of the most notable are Outstanding Indian of the Year (1979), Outstanding Oklahoman of the Year (1976), and the designation of Master Artist (1973).

Dorothy Dunn’s American Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Areas praises Beaver’s abilities: “His pictures are adroit, colorful, and decorative in a meaningful manner that commands interest beyond that usually aroused by illustrative art.  Beaver should write the stories and legends to accompany these excellent depictions of native scenes. With his comprehensive knowledge of the subject, he should be able to offer a well-rounded and fascinating view of Southeast Indian life.”  She describes him as “one of the principal Woodland artists.”

This untitled tempera painting was completed in 1975—late in Beaver’s life and career.  In the center of the image is a man wearing a traditional Creek turban style headdress, which is made by wrapping strips of calico cloth around one’s head.  He’s pictured from behind, with his left hand extended outward and upward towards a circular design. The circular design contains a cityscape with round clouds and an orange sky. The man’s head, neck and hand are all that is visible to the viewer.  Beneath him is a large American-style log cabin, which is something that the Creek Indians began building in the 1800s. They’d acquired new tools from American settlers, and were able to improve their somewhat primitive buildings. This cabin sits on a thin series of black and gray lines.  A single plant grows from the ground beside the cabin, and a gray mesa rises from the otherwise empty background. One cannot help but be intrigued by the unusual composition and the inclusion of two different eras’ modern architecture. What was Beaver’s message here? Whatever the purpose, this is an appealing image from one of the most significant Creek painters.

Fred Beaver (1911-1980) signatureThe painting is signed Fred Beaver and dated ‘75.  It is unframed, placed under a white mat and shrink wrapped.



Condition: this Original Painting of Creek Indian and Circular Cityscape is in excellent condition

Provenance: from the large collection of a New York resident

Recommended Reading: American Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Areas by Dorothy Dunn

Fred Beaver (1911-1980) Ekalanee
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Creek Nation
  • Medium: tempera
  • Size:
    14-1/2" by 12-3/8" image;
    21” x 19” matted - unframed
  • Item # C4148K
  • Price: $495.00

C4148K-paint.jpgC4148K-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.