Woodrow Wilson Crumbo Potawatomi Painter and Printmaker


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Artist Signature - Woodrow Wilson Crumbo (1912-1989) Woody Crumbo

Woody Crumbo was a successful and influential Potawatomi painter and printmaker and a collectible Native American artist. He did create silkscreens and etchings of his original work to make his creations very affordable to collectors around the world. Crumbo (1912-1989) was the son of Mary and Alex Crumbo; father of Minisa Crumbo Halsey. Woody's father died when he was four, and his mother died when he was only seven.

Woodrow Wilson Crumbo - Woody Crumbo

"At the end of the 3rd grade, Crumbo's schooling was interrupted for nearly ten years. During this period he, and other young Indian boys of Anadarko, OK were encouraged by Susie Peters, who worked with them, finding them materials with which to paint and a market for their work. "some of us were so small," Crumbo said, "that we sat on gallon buckets and used the backs of chairs for easels."  The artist returned to school at 17 to study art, anthropology, and history and to pursue his many talents. In 1952, he said, "Half of my life passed in striving to complete the pictorial record of Indian history, religion, rituals, customs, way of life, and philosophies. It is now accomplished - a graphic record that a million words could not begin to tell." In 1939, Philbrook Art Center was given the first Indian painting in its collection, Crumbo's Deer and Birds."  - Snodgrass 1968.

Crumbo was the second director of the Art Department at Bacone Indian College, Muskogee, OK, following Acee Blue Eagle. He spent many years as a close friend and advisor to the Thomas Gilcrease Museum, as he assembled his art collection. Crumbo was one of the three Indian artists who were closest to Mr. Gilcrease, the other two being Acee Blue Eagle and Willard Stone.

Reference: The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters by Patrick D. Lester.

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