Title: Twilight Song
Date: ca. 1990
Artist: Allan Houser (1914 – 1994)
Culture: Chiricahua Apache (United States)
Size: 18” H
Credit: Gift of John and Dr. Meryl Lavine
On View: Yes
Allan Houser was one of the most important native American artists of the twentieth century. He was originally trained as a painter and was commissioned to paint life-size murals in the Department of Interior’s Washington, D.C., office. After working on the murals, he moved to Los Angeles. There, he was exposed to the works of artists like Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore, and other modernist sculptors.
Houser dedicated himself to his craft after he retired in 1975. This would become the most prolific part of his career. During this time, he focused on creating sculptures, many of which had a heroic quality, like the Sacred Rain Arrow statue at the Gilcrease in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Sacred Rain Arrow was featured on Oklahoma license plate for many years.) However, he was also a master at creating abstracted figures, like this one. The statue depicts the rounded form of a female figure, concealed by a blanket, except for her face, which emerges to draw the viewer’s attention.