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Original Painting titled “ARAPAHOES”

C4149J-paint.jpg

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Carl Sweezy (1879-1953) Wattan
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Arapaho Tribe
  • Medium: tempera on paper
  • Size:
    11" by 15" image;
    15-1/2” x 19-1/2” framed
  • Item # C4149J
  • Price: $2,400.00

“Arapahoes” is a tempera painting from early Arapaho painter and ledger artist Carl Sweezy.  The influential artist’s subject for this piece was a gathering of Arapaho Indians on horseback. Something must be happening in the distance to the riders’ right, as they all appear to be staring intently in the same direction.  Each of the three horses wears a bright red shawl. Their riders wear buckskin shirts and leggings, and sit on blue saddle blankets. The rider on the left raises a fist and turns to his right, suggesting to the viewer that something exciting is occurring in his eyeline.  The Indians’ winsome faces are seen by the viewer from the side. Sweezy used brown paint, then framed their noses and eyes with thin black lines. Finally, he added red lips. No other embellishments were necessary, and so no other embellishments were added. The horses’ faces are another highlight.  Their eyes stand out, mostly likely because of Sweezy’s decision to use a strong black paint over the horses’ white and light brown faces. This is a unique, appealing image from one of the earliest and most influential Arapaho painters.

Artist Signature - Carl Sweezy (1879-1953) WattanThe painting is signed “Carl Sweezy” and titled “Arapahoes” in its lower right corner.

Carl Sweezy (1879-1953) Wattan was a talented and influential Arapaho painter and ledger artist. Sweezy was born in 1879 on old Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation in Oklahoma. His father was Hinan Ba Seth (Big Man) and his mother, unfortunately, died when he was very young.  Sweezy attended Mennonite Mission Schools in Oklahoma and Kansas. He also attended Chilocco and Carlisle Indian Schools. Sweezy’s Indian name was Wattan, or “Black.” He was also known as “Waatina.”  Sweezy’s style was informed by Plains ledger art, which was flourishing during his early life. He occasionally created ledger art and painted portraits, but he is best known today for his excellent watercolor paintings. Sweezy’s long list of notable exhibitions includes the American Indian Exposition, Philbrook Arts Center, and the Intertribal Indian Ceremonials in Gallup. His works are included in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, Chicago Natural History Museum, Gilcrease Institute, Museum of the American Indian, and University of Oklahoma. Sweezy passed away on May 28, 1953 in Lawton, Oklahoma.

Condition: this Original Painting titled "ARAPAHOES" is in excellent condition

Provenance: from the large collection of a Texas resident, originally obtained from Sweezy by European artist and educator Oscar Jacobson.

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

Close up view of the riders.

Carl Sweezy (1879-1953) Wattan
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Arapaho Tribe
  • Medium: tempera on paper
  • Size:
    11" by 15" image;
    15-1/2” x 19-1/2” framed
  • Item # C4149J
  • Price: $2,400.00

C4149J-paint.jpgC4149J-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.