Blackbear Bosin

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Francis Blackbear Bosin
Born (1921-06-21)June 21, 1921
Cyril, Oklahoma, United States
Died August 9, 1980(1980-08-09) (aged 59)
Wichita, Kansas, United States
Nationality American
Other names Tsate Kongia
Occupation Artist (sculptor, painter), Graphic Designer
Notable work Keeper of the Plains, 1968-1974
From Whence All Life, 1972
Wichita, My Son, 1965
Prairie Fire, 1955
Wind Spirit, 1955
Awards National American Indian Achievements Award, American Indian Art and Cultural Exchange, 1976
Certificate of Appreciation, American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, 1976
Distinguished Service Award, State of Kansas, 1977
Kansas Governor's Artist, 1977

Blackbear Bosin (June 5, 1921 – August 9, 1980) was a Comanche-Kiowa sculptor and painter, also known as Tsate Kongia.


The Keeper of the Plains, outdoor steel sculpture by Blackbear Bosin (1974)

Francis Blackbear Bosin was born June 5, 1921 in Cyril, Oklahoma near Anadarko. His parents were Frank Blackbear and Ada Tivis Bosin. His Kiowa name, Tsate Kongia, means "Blackbear" and belongs to his grandfather, a Kiowa chief. He attended St. Patrick's Mission School in Anadarko and was exposed to the paintings of the Kiowa Five.[1]

In 1940, Bosin graduated from Cyril High School and moved to Wichita, Kansas that year. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served during World War II.[1] In Kansas, he worked as a color separator and plate maker for Western Lithograph and as an artist for Boeing.[2]

In 2010, Margaret Williams Norton wrote a book about Blackbear Bosin that focuses on his The Keeper of the Plains sculpture that sits at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers in Wichita, Kansas.[3]

Art career[edit]

Essentially self-taught, Bosin combined Southern Plains flat style painting with surrealism. His first solo exhibition was in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1945.[1]

In 1955, National Geographic featured his acclaimed painting, Prairie Fire. He was the only Native American artist to participate in the 1965 White House Festival of Arts.[1]

His most famous work is Wichita's iconic The Keeper of the Plains, a 44-foot steel sculpture erected in 1974 at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers. It depicts a Native American warrior offering a blessing to the sky.[2]

Over the years his work became increasingly complex and the subject matter more profound. A spirit of Indian mysticism deeply influenced his work, and he eventually became internationally recognized for his vivid watercolors and acrylics.

Bosin also designed the insignia for the Wolf Creek Nuclear power plant.[4]



Bosin died on August 9, 1980. He was survived by his second wife, Nola Davidson Simmons, his four children, and one stepson.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Hanneman, Carolyn G. "Bosin, Francis Blackbear (1921-1980)." Archived December 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. (retrieved 30 Jan 2010)
  2. ^ a b c "Blackbear Bosin: A Kansas Portrait". Kansas State Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2006-10-08. Retrieved 2006-10-16.
  3. ^ "Wichita statue focus of book about artist Blackbear Bosin", Wichita Eagle and, Nov. 29, 2010.
  4. ^ "History of the Wolf Creek Logo" Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation

External links[edit]