Chief Quanah Parker
- Watercolor & gouache on board
- Sight: 9 3/4 x 6 3/4 in.
- Frame 19 1/8 x 15 1/2 in.
- Signed and titled
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PRICE: Upon request INQUIRE
About the work
Quanah Parker was a leader of the Comanche people during the difficult transition from free-ranging life on the southern plains to the settled ways of reservation life. He became an influential negotiator with government agents, a prosperous cattle-rancher, a vocal advocate of formal education for Native children, and a devout member of the Peyote Cult
Parker was born in the 1840s or early 50s in southwest Oklahoma or across the border in northern Texas. He was the son of Chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman captured by the Comanches as a child in 1836.
When Parker was approximately nine, Cynthia Ann was recaptured by whites at the Battle of Pease River, west of Wichita Falls. In tribute to his mother, he added her surname to his given name.
As a Comanche leader, the last chief of the Quahadi band, Parker mounted an unsuccessful war against white expansion in northwest Texas in the 1870s. After a failed raid at Adobe Walls, Texas, the military retaliated in what became known as the Red River Indian War. Parker’s group held out on the Staked Plains (northwest Texas) for almost a year before he surrendered at Fort Sill.
Thereafter, Parker became the main spokesman and peacetime leader of the Native Americans in the region, a role he performed for some 30 years. He rose to national prominence and developed friendships with many notable figures, including President Theodore Roosevelt, who invited Parker to his inauguration in 1905.
After his death in 1911, Parker was buried next to his mother, who had resisted assimilation back into white civilization until her death, reportedly by starvation.
About the artist…
Joe Beeler (1931-2006) was a pioneer in contemporary western art and a founding member of the Cowboy Artists of America. Born in Joplin, Missouri, he was raised in Oklahoma and Missouri where he was surrounded by the cowboys, ranchers, and Native Americans that inspired his life’s work.
His art career began in the late 1950s with illustration assignments at the University of Oklahoma Press in Norman. Two years later his one-man at the Gilcrease Museum served as a springboard to national acclaim, followed by a showing at the Montana Historical Society.
In 1962 he moved to Sedona, Arizona, where his career flourished. After helping found the Cowboy Artists of American in 1965, he became he first contemporary artist to have a one-man show at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. He since exhibited at nearly every major western museum, including the Charles M. Russell Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Woolaroc Museum, and the Institute of Texas Cultures.
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