Crumbo's paintings are Luther Bean Museum's April Artifact of the Month


By Kiki Naranjo

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The Adams State College Luther Bean Museum selected the featured collection by artist Woodrow Wilson Crumbo as the April Artifact of the Month.

Woodrow "Woody" Wilson Crumbo, a Native American, was born of the Potawatomi Tribe in Lexington, Oklahoma in 1912. Orphaned at the age of seven, he lived with the Creek Indians and was later adopted by a Sioux family. His background provided him an expansive knowledge of Native American arts which was further developed with schooling. According to the Smithsonian American Art Museum website, he received a scholarship to the American Indian Institute in Wichita, for his last two years of high school, and he attended the University of Wichita and the University of Oklahoma.

Crumbo was knowledgeable in dancing, anthropology, music, stained-glass design and as a maker and player of Indian flutes. According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, after his graduation at the University of Oklahoma, he became art director at Bacone Indian College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, where he was also the curator, museum director, writer, poet and sculptor. His work is represented by six large murals in the Department of Interior Building, Washington D.C. and in many other public buildings.

Crumbo dedicated himself to portraying the Indian culture and preserving their ancient traditions. He had over 500 paintings in museums before he was 40. He passed away April 4, 1989 in Cimarron, New Mexico, leaving a legacy for future generations of artists to enjoy. Crumbo's donation of silk-screens to Adams State College provides both the college and San Luis Valley communities an opportunity to study his work first-hand.

You can enjoy the Crumbo collection in the Luther Bean Museum, located on the second floor Richardson Hall; from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Tours can be arranged by calling 719-587-7151.

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