February 28, 2001

Contact: Maria S. Martin, Museum of Anthropology, (785) 864-2673

KU anthropology museum opens Blackbear Bosin exhibit

LAWRENCE--An exhibit of American Indian tribal art and artifacts from around the United States, "Blackbear Bosin: Artist and Collector" is now on display through August at at the University of Kansas Museum of Anthropology in Spooner Hall.

Especially notable in the more than 60 objects in the exhibit is the Plains buckskin dress and a collection of cradleboards. The entire collection includes 393 pieces, which will add significantly to research, teaching, and in exhibits for the public.

Not to be missed is a case featuring baskets and buckskin pouches. Another case highlights beadwork with beautiful hair ornaments and necklaces. A rosette illustrates the elaborate beadwork done by Bosin's mother Ada Tivis Bosin.

In 1999, the KU Anthropology Museum received a collection of American Indian tribal art and artifacts from Britt and Ann Brown of Wichita. This collection, privately assembled by the late Blackbear Bosin, was a gift from Bosin to Britt Brown. The relationship between Bosin and Britt Brown was very unique. Brown was not only a patron of Bosin's, but was also his blood brother.

On loan to the museum for this special exhibit are five Blackbear Bosin gouache paintings from the Brown's private collection. Bosin's paintings, depicting tribal lore and customs, are instantly recognizable by their brilliant colors. Of special note is the painting titled "Blackbear and Sun Eagle" which illustrates the bond of brotherhood between Bosin and Britt Brown and is accompanied by Bosin's eloquent description of his theme and characters.

As an artist, Bosin, of Kiowa and Commanche ancestry, worked in gouache, a type of opaque watercolor. Drawing from his accumulated knowledge of Indian ways, habits and beliefs, Bosin depicted images and interpretations of his Plains ancestors. As an avid collector, Bosin's collection is representative of American Indian objects from across North America.

 • The exhibit is free and open to the public. Museum hours are 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 pm on Sunday. For more information call the museum at 785-864-4245 or www.ku.edu/~kuma.

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