The Koshare Indian Museum
A Dream Come True
The link between the dancer program and the Museum began by introducing the Koshare dancers to art and artifacts as well as noted artists throughout their tenure as a Koshare Indian dancer. The youth gained an appreciation of Native American and Southwestern art and soon began collecting and purchasing Native American Indian art and artifacts. In 1949, they built a replica of an authentic Pueblo Kiva in which to perform their dances and house their growing collection. Over the years, graduating Koshare classes purchased a piece of art to leave to the Museum on behalf of their senior class.
In the December 20, 1950 edition of Koshare News, Koshare founder, Buck Burshears wrote about the growing art collection and art exhibits.
"The Koshares have begun to collect pictures by famous southwestern artists. The first one was The Eagle Dancer by Woodrow Crumbo which was dedicated to the memory of Captain Dean B. Strain, one of the three Koshares lost in World War II.
On a special trip to Taos and Santa Fe Easter weekend, the 1950 high school seniors selected the very beautiful painting by Will Schuster of Santa Fe The Deer Dance.
In June, on our way to Grand Junction, one of Colorado's most famous artists, Earl G. Hammock of Gunnison, had breakfast with us. While we were there, and on our insistence, he brought one of his very wonderful still-life pictures called The Bluebird Ceremonial. It was so fine that we couldn't resist it. So we brought it home with us as a little memento of the Grand Junction trip. Many of our visitors think it is the finest picture that we have.
The boys will never forget the two hours in Taos on our way home from Gallup. We spent those hours with Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Imhof. Our whole gang of 47 gathered in Mr. Imhof's big studio where he gave us a very interesting talk on the Corn dance. He ended by digging out of a secluded corner several very fine paintings. One of them The Chanters was especially appealing to us, so we squeezed out enough from our art fund to buy it.
[Editor's Note: This picture was dedicated to the memory of Dean Kendall, another Koshare chief who was lost in service during World War II.]
Mr. Imhof was very generous in sending us one of his fine lithographs of Geronimo as a gift.
Other pieces of art accumulated this year include the water color portrait of Jack Burdette by Mrs. Frickle of Wichita University, who showed her pictures in the Kiva in May. Also, two pictures painted especially for the Kiva by Mrs. Sterns of Denver University who taught some classes at the junior college (Otero Junior College) this summer.
We have also purchased from our art fund the complete costumes and personal papers of Daniel Kills-Alive, one of the last of the Sioux Chiefs. This, together with many other things that have already been given to us, will be the beginning of our Indian museum."
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