Unconquered: Allan Houser and the Legacy of One Apache Family
Santa Fe, NM (Vocus) September 30, 2009
The estate of Allan Houser has announced that three major new institutional exhibitions will open to the public simultaneously on November 21, 2009. While previous exhibitions, such as Allan Houser’s Smithsonian retrospective (2004 – 2005), have staged concurrently with other museum venues, this is the first time that three major shows open the same day in diverse geographic and cultural settings.
The Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona will present an exhibition of 18 life-size and monumental sculptures which will open to the public on November 21, 2009 and be on display through May 30, 2010. Included in the exhibition are many of Allan Houser's most important monumental works spanning his explorations in both narrative and non-objective forms. Among those landmark monumental works are "Spirit of the Wind", "Anasazi", "When Friends Meet", "Cerrillos", "Homeward Bound", "Spirit of the Mountains", "Watercarrier", and "Migration". Also exhibited will be "Abstract Crown Dancer I", "Corngrinder", "Warm Springs Apache Man", "This Was Our Home", "Spirit House" , and "Mountain Echoes". Rounding out the exhibition are "Options", "Dialogue, and "Embrace". The Desert Botanical Garden hosts one of the world’s finest collections of desert plants and is the only of 44 of botanical gardens in the US accredited by the American Association of Museums. Home to 139 rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world, this one-of-a-kind museum showcases 50 acres of beautiful outdoor exhibits.
The Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona will present a major retrospective of Allan Houser's paintings, watercolors, book illustrations, drawings, and sculpture as a tandem exhibition with that of the Desert Botanical Gardens. The Heard Museum exhibition will draw from the extensive collection of Allan Houser artworks (41) in their permanent collection, but will be augmented by 37 works on paper as well as wood, steel, and bronze sculpture on loan from the Allan Houser archives.
Allan Houser first exhibited at the Heard Museum in 1948 while the earliest dated work in their collection is a tempera painting from 1952 titled "Indian Retreat". In succeeding years they have acquired through purchases and gifts the most extensive institutional collection of Allan Houser's work. Trademark sculptures such as "Earth Song" which sings over the museum's central courtyard, "Heading Home" which has graced the original museum courtyard, and the classic unique steel creations "Buffalo Dancer" and "Navajo" are renowned as some of the Heard collection's major works .
On loan from the Allan Houser Archives will be exquisite and rare works on paper done by Allan Houser in the 1950's while he was an instructor at the Intermountain School in Brigham City, Utah. These include 8 watercolor paintings and 11 tempera paintings and pen and ink drawings done as book illustrations. These illustrations are among over 150 such works in the Allan Houser archives which originally graced the pages of 7 different children’s books published between 1954 and 1962.
The exhibition shows the explorations and evolving styles of Allan Houser over the course of his 60-year career. Exemplary drawings and sculpture of his later figure studies as well as abstract forms relate his perspective and reference to international influences and modernist sculptors whose aesthetics he absorbed. Works in the exhibition will be on display in the Lovena Ohl Gallery and throughout the museum's public and courtyard spaces. The exhibition continues through August of 2010.
The Gilcrease Museum of the Americas in Tulsa, Oklahoma will present the exhibition “Unconquered: Allan Houser and the Legacy of One Apache Family”. Charting the experience of the Apache people through examining the lives and legacy of one Apache family, the exhibit is the first to feature a multi-generational look at the Houser/Haozous family. In association with this story, visitors view three-dimensional sculptures and works of art by Allan and his sons, Bob and Phillip Haozous.
The exhibition was organized by and displayed at the Oklahoma History Museum in Oklahoma City from October of 2008 through September of 2009. Funding for the exhibition was provided by the Inasmuch Foundation of Oklahoma City. Using artifacts, film, and works of art this show illustrates cultural survival and expression through five generations of the Houser/Haozous family. Spanning the years from the 1860s to 2008, the story takes visitors on a personal journey from brutal incarceration and attempted cultural genocide to personal expression and the strength of family legacies.
The expanded object list to be shown at the Gilcrease Museum will include the addition of eleven sculptural works by Phillip and Bob Haozous as well as 24 watercolor paintings done by Allan Houser in the late 1950’s. While relating the unique history of the family, the exhibition in Tulsa will focus on the artwork and the individual approach taken by Allan Houser, Phillip Haozous, and Bob Haozous.
The exhibition continues through March 21, 2010.
For more information or photography please contact:
Allan Houser Inc.
P.O. Box 5217
Santa Fe, NM 87502
Phone : (505) 471-9667
e-mail: fineart (at) allanhouser (dot) com