Willard Stone (Cherokee) b. 1915 - d. 1985
"Lady of Spring," n.d.
Walnut, 27.5" x 5" x 5.5"
The Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Willard Stone is the unsung hero of Native American sculpture. Ever humble, he did not consider himself a fine artist, but rather referred to himself as a craftsperson. His "whiftling," as he called his carving, produced exquisite and elegant wood sculpture that were both modern and decorative. Upon first viewing his work, one is impressed by the fact that the subject matter and technique are not necessarily ethnic.
Stone worked in a style during the 1940s that would later be called Art Deco. He was responsible for developing a singular style of sculpture unique to Oklahoma and to Native American contemporary art. His artistic approach reflected, Stone's time, region and lifestyle and was perfectly suited for him.
"Lady of Spring" is one of the finest examples of Stone's work. It is classic Art. Deco in the tradition of Ferdmand Preiss' "Spring Awakening" or the famous Vargas nudes. Stone never totally abandons realism in his "Lady of Spring" while incorporating abstraction into his organic female form. He uses clean, flowing and sensuous lines. His smooth highly glossed finishes are reminiscent of the shiny metals favored by the Art Deco style.
Garden Exhibit VI Home Page
Honoring Native America - Exhibit VI
Sea Weed People - Woman in Love - John Hoover
Earth Song - Allan Houser
Flag Song - Doug Hyde
Bird Effigy - Truman Lowe
Red Totem - George Morrison
Khwee-seng (Woman-man) - Nora Naranjo-Morse
The Cedar Mill Pole - R.E. Bartow
Lady of Spring - Willard Stone
Guardians and Sentinels - Susie Bevins Ericsen/Qimmiqsak
The Emergence of the Clowns - Roxanne Swentzell
Earth Messenger Totem - Doug Coffin
Woman in Love - Bob Haozous
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