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

In the fall of 1895, Phimister Proctor traveled to Glacier National Park and stayed at the Blackfeet reservation, where he sculpted a small model that later served as the inspiration for Indian Warrior. The next year, he received the prestigious Rinehart Scholarship to practice in Paris on a three-year contract. The scholarship committee commissioned Indian Warrior for the Rinehart Prix de Paris Collection. While studying in France, Proctor became skilled in the classicism of the Beaux-Arts style even as he maintained his tendency toward American naturalism. Indian Warrior is a careful likeness of Weasel Head, the Blackfeet man who served as his model. Proctor captured his appearance, but he added the war bonnet and spear of the archetypical Native American, obscuring the full scope of his sitter’s character. This simplified portrayal of Weasel Head ultimately contributed to American society’s broader romanticization of Native Americans.
Bronze, sand cast, probably by John Williams or Jno. Williams, Inc., Foundry, New York
39 1/4 x 10 x 29 1/4 in. (99.7 x 25.4 x 74.3 cm)
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, New York}; private collection, Montana; sold to the artist’s grandson, Phimister Proctor Church, Hansville, Washington; to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2015
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, American Art: The Stories We Carry, Oct. 20, 2022 - ongoing.
Published Referencescf. "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 respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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