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Blackbear Bosin

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Title: Blackbear Bosin  
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Subject: The Keeper of the Plains, Artists from Wichita, Kansas, Kiowa people, Prairie Fire, Comanche tribe
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Blackbear Bosin

Blackbear Bosin (June 5, 1921 – August 9, 1980) was a Comanche-Kiowa sculptor and painter, also known as Tsate Kongia.


  • Background 1
  • Art career 2
  • Collections 3
  • Death 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The Keeper of the Plains, outdoor steel sculpture by Blackbear Bosin (2015)

Francis Blackbear Bosin was born June 5, 1921 in Cyril, Oklahoma near Anadarko. His parents were Frank Blackbear and Ada Tivis Bosin. His Kiowa name, Tsate Kongia, means "Blackbear" and belongs to his grandfather, a Kiowa chief. He attended St. Patrick's Mission School in Anadarko and was exposed to the paintings of the Kiowa Five.[1]

In 1940, Bosin graduated from Cyril High School and moved to Wichita, Kansas that year. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served during World War II.[1] In Kansas, he worked as a color separator and plate maker for Western Lithograph and as an artist for Boeing.[2]

In 2010, Margaret Williams Norton wrote a book about Blackbear Bosin that focuses on his The Keeper of the Plains sculpture that sits at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers in Wichita, Kansas.[3]

Art career

Essentially self-taught, Bosin combined Southern Plains flat style painting with surrealism. His first solo exhibition was in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1945.[1]

In 1955, National Geographic featured his acclaimed painting, Prairie Fire. He was the only Native American artist to participate in the 1965 White House Festival of Arts.[1]

Perhaps his most famous work is Wichita's iconic The Keeper of the Plains, a 44-foot steel sculpture erected in 1974 at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers. It depicts a Native American warrior offering a blessing to the sky.[2]

Over the years his work became increasingly complex and the subject matter more profound. A spirit of Indian mysticism deeply influenced his work, and he eventually became internationally recognized for his vivid watercolors and acrylics.

Bosin also designed the insignia for the Wolf Creek Nuclear power plant.[4]



Bosin died on August 9, 1980. He was survived by his second wife, Nola Davidson Simmons, his four children, and one stepson.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Hanneman, Carolyn G. "Bosin, Francis Blackbear (1921-1980)." Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. (retrieved 30 Jan 2010)
  2. ^ a b c "Blackbear Bosin: A Kansas Portrait". Kansas State Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2006-10-08. Retrieved 2006-10-16. 
  3. ^ "Wichita statue focus of book about artist Blackbear Bosin", Wichita Eagle and, Nov. 29, 2010.
  4. ^ "History of the Wolf Creek Logo", Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation

External links

  • "Blackbear Bosin (1921-1980)", Mid-American All Indian Center
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