Born Allan Capron Haozous (1914–1994), he became known to the world as Allan Houser and is internationally recognized for his figurative and modernist sculptures featuring Native American people and themes. His parents, Sam and Blossom Haozous, were among the population of Chiricahua Apaches imprisoned for 27 years. The first child born out of captivity, he was raised on the family farm in Oklahoma. With limited formal education and no art instruction, he taught himself to draw, then enrolled in the Painting Studio at the Santa Fe Indian School in 1934. He progressed quickly and soon garnered accolades for his paintings, including mural commissions for the Interior Department in 1938–39.
In 1942, he moved to Los Angeles, spending the next five years working in construction by day and painting at night. While there, he saw exhibitions of modernist sculpture, which would influence him as he later pursued three-dimensional forms. He joined the faculty of the new Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe in 1962 and founded its sculpture department. He would ultimately create over 1,000 sculptures in stone, wood, bronze, plaster, and clay.
This exhibition features 15 pieces in bronze and stone, several of them recent gifts to the Crocker from Loren G. Lipson. Among these is Force, a signature work in Vermont marble depicting an eagle and dove, avian metaphors for war and peace that are unique to the artist’s oeuvre.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website