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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Indian Warrior

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Indian Warrior

modeled 1898; cast 1900-1909

Alexander Phimister Proctor

Born Arkona, Ontario, Canada, 1860; died Palo Alto, California, 1950

Alexander Phimister Proctor was one of two American sculptors heavily inspired by the American West, the other being Frederic Remington. Growing up in Denver, Proctor developed a fine eye for western wildlife. Later, working under the tutelage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, he became one of the most admired and sought after animaliers. He modeled the horse for Saint-Gaudens’ famous monumental equestrian General William Tecumseh Sherman in Central Park, New York.

Proctor’s first equestrian subject was an Indian scout, a contrast to the prevailing taste for public monuments to the American cavalry officers who were the vanquishers of native people. The figure of this work, his second equestrian subject, was based on Proctor’s life studies of Blackfoot men, made in Montana in the summer and early fall of 1895. The head, Proctor said, is a portrait of a Blackfoot leader, Weasel Head. The horse was based on Proctor’s models of a particularly handsome stallion from the stables of a New York patron. This beautifully modeled horse and rider group helped Proctor win a gold medal for sculpture at the Paris Universal Exposition in 1900 and earned him enduring prestige at home. The desire among some enthusiasts to one day see this work as a heroically-scaled civic monument was never fulfilled, though Proctor became one of the most sought after sculptors for public commissions throughout his lifetime.

Bronze, sand cast, probably by John Williams or Jno. Williams, Inc., Foundry, New York
39 1/4 x 10 x 29 1/4 in.
Gift of the A. Phimister Proctor Museum with thanks to Phimister (Sandy) and Sally Church
Provenance: {possibly originally sold through Tiffany and Company, New York}; a Montana private collection; sold to the artist’s grandson, Phimister Proctor Church, Hansville, Washington; to Seattle Art Museum
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, extended loan, 2010-present.
Published ReferencesIn chronological order:

cf. "Seattle Museum's Catalogue Grows--Washington Art Association Receives Valuable Loans and Donations--Sculptor Makes Gift," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 28, 1909, p. 1, reproduced.

cf. Hassrick, Peter H. Wildlife and Western Heroes: Alexander Phimister Proctor, Sculptor. London: Third Millennium Publishing, in association with the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, 2003; pp. 122-125, pl. 12.

cf. Sculptor in Buckskin: the Autobiography of Alexander Phimister Proctor, second revised edition, ed. Katherine C. Ebner. 1971; Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009; pp. 125-126, 132-133, 136.

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

Learn more about Equity at SAM