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AUCHIAH, JAMES (1906-1974)

Tsa-To-Ke, Hokeah, Mopope, Jacobson, Asah, Auchiah, 1933

One of the celebrated Kiowa artists of the twentieth century, James Auchiah was born in western Oklahoma on November 17, 1906. His paintings, along with those of four other Kiowa men and one Kiowa woman, were among the first nationally and internationally recognized fine art produced by North American Indians. He was born near the present community of Medicine Park, located just outside of Lawton, Oklahoma. He was the son of Mark Auchiah and grandson of Chief Satanta. He was also the grandson of Red Tipi, a well-known medicine man and a talented artist. Early in life Auchiah and other Kiowa youths were given art lessons by Kiowa Field Matron Susie Peters. He attended St. Patrick's Mission School near Anadarko and attended special art classes with other Kiowas at the University of Oklahoma during the late 1920s under the tutelage of professors Edith Mahier and Oscar Jacobson, director of the School of Art. Auchiah served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II and worked part time at the U.S. Army Artillery and Missile Center Museum at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In the 1930s he completed murals at the Wiley Post Building (at that time the Oklahoma Historical Society building) in Oklahoma City, at the Oklahoma Federal Building in Anadarko, and at St. Patrick's Mission. Auchiah's work can be found in numerous private and public collections, including the Fort Sill Museum and the Gilcrease Museum. He continued to paint and teach art until his death on December 28, 1974, at Carnegie, Oklahoma. He received an award in 1930 at the Inter-Tribal Ceremonials in Gallup, New Mexico, and is noted in numerous exhibitions, art reviews, books, and articles.

Gus Palmer, Sr., Moses Botone, Audrey Palmer, Taft Hainta, Fred Tsoodle, and James Auchiah.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Dorothy Dunn, American Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Area (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1968). Patrick D. Lester, The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters (Tulsa, Okla.: SIR Publications, 1995).

Mary Jo Watson

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