The Native American community learned some very sad news over the weekend. Robert Redbird, an iconic Kiowa artist, passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 76. He had been battling an illness for some time as noted by his Facebook page. He seemed to be doing better last year, but a recent post from March 1st asked everyone for their prayers.
CNN.com shared the news on their website yesterday.
An Oklahoman who was part of the Kiowa tribe, Redbird's drawings and paintings showed the beauty and breadth of Native American culture from the vast bleakness of the Comanche in the snow to cultural symbols such as the eagle and pottery.
Redbird's paintings depicting blanket-wrapped Southern Plains figures became part of his artistic identity and representative of modern Native American artwork.
His home state of Oklahoma declared “Robert Redbird Day” on June 7, 2003.
“Robert Redbird's art is full of his conviction that Native American culture is a beautiful way of life and his art conveys his feeling for Kiowa tradition and ceremonies, for the spiritual in the culture of many tribes and for the world of nature,” wrote then-Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, in the text of the declaration.
His work, which is recognizable by his trademark signature with a feather and the word Kiowa, has been exhibited and collected around the world.
He leaves behind Joquetta, his wife of 55 years, and 15 children, many of whom are carrying on his work.
I was blessed with a couple of his paintings and they are hanging proudly on my wall.
Here are a couple more beautiful works that were featured on CNN.com
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Redbird family.
Photos from CNN/Robert Redbird Sr. Family
Last Updated on December 13, 2023 by Paul G