Bosin, Blackbear

Date of Birth: 
June 5, 1921
Place of Birth: 
near Anadarko, OK.



     Blackbear Bosin, the renowned Kiowa/Comanche artist, was born on June 5, 1921 near Anadarko, OK. He was the eldest son of Frank Blackbear Bosin & Ada Tivis (a beadworker). His maternal grand mother Kahchatscha was a Comanche Awl Band medicine woman. At 17, Blackbear helped his father run the family farm. After graduating from Cyril (OK) High school in 1940, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps during world war II. Due to family obligations, Blackbear was unable to accept two university art scholarships. painting in his spare time, Blackbear achieved success with little formal training.
     Blackbear made his home in Wichita, KS. He worked as a color seperator & platemaker, illustrator, commercial artist, gallery owner, sculptor & painter. Blackbear worked in Gouache, casein & steel. Blackbear was published in numerous publications.
     Blackbear exhibited his artwork & won numerous awards at the All-American Indian Days (Sheridan, WY), the Albany (NY) Institute of History & Art, the Art Institute of Chicago (IL), The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - California Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Denver  Art Museum (CO), the Inter-Tribal Indian Cerimonials (Gallup, NM), the LOS Angeles County Museum of Art (CA), the Laguna Gloria Art Museum (Austin, TX), the Museum of New Mexico (Santa Fe), the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO), the Owensboro (KY) Museum of Fine Arts, the Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum (San Antonio, TX), the Scottsdale National Indian Art Exhibition (AZ), the Tulsa Garden Center's Midwest Professional Artists Benefit Art show (OK), the Museum of the Plains Indian (Browning, MT), the Oklahoma Museum of Art (Oklahoma City), the Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa, OK), the Southern Plains Indian Museum & Craft Center (Anadarko, OK), the Terry Art Institute (Miami, FL), The Wichita Art Museum (KS), the Wichita State University Ulrich Museum of Art (KS), the Abilene Fine Arts Museum (TX), the Miami Beach Art Center (FL), & the Smithsonian Institution & the National Gallery of Art in washington, D.C.
     Blackbear had solo exhibitions at the Aiea Heights Naval Hospital Gallery (Honolulu, HI), the Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ), the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Southern Plains Indian Museum & Craft Center, the Whitney Museum of Western Art (Cody, WY), & the Wichita Art Association, Inc. Gallery (KS).
     Blackbear participated in several prestigious touring exhibits, including the Heard Museum's shared visions: Native American Painters & Sculptors in the Twentieth century exhibit, the Minneapolis (MN) Institute of Arts' visions of the people exhibit, the Southern Plains Indian Museum & the Oklahoma Indian Arts & crafts co-operative's contemporary Southern plains Indian painting exhibit, the Joslyn Art Museum's Native American paintings exhibit, the University of Oklahoma Museum of Art's plains Indian paintings exhibit, the Philbrook Museum of Art's American Indian paintings from the Permanent collection exhibit & their Indianischer Kunstler touring exhibit of West Germany.
     Blackbear's artwork is featured in numerous private & public art collections, including the Denver Art Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum (Indianapolis, IN), the Heard Museum, the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Read Mullan Chevrolet Corporate Collection (Phoenix, AZ), the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History & Art (Tulsa, OK), the Wichita Art Association, Inc. Gallery, the Wichita Art Museum, & the U.S. Department of the Interior's Indian Arts & Crafts Board.
     Blackbear received commissions for several murals in Wichita (KS) at the Mcconnell Air Force Base, the North High school, the Broadview Hotel & the Farm Credit Banks of wichita. In 1974, Blackbear received a commision from the city of Wichita (KS) for the Keeper of the Plains sculpture. Blackbear also received a commision for a series of paintings from the U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Arts & Crafts Board.
     Blackbear was proud to have served on the Board of Directors of the Wichita Art Guild. In 1959, he was awarded the civil Servant Award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 1965, Blackbear Bosin was the only Indian artist represented in the White House Festival of the Arts (Washington, D.C.). In 1966, he received a Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Arts & crafts Board. In 1967, the Philbrook Museum of Art awarded Blackbear the Waite Phillips Trophy for outstanding Contributions to American Indian Art. when discussing Blackbear Bosin's contributions to Indian Art, Jeanne Snodgrass-King declared his later artwork so distinctive & innovative, that they became a model for the next generation of Indian artists.
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