Murv Jacob

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Murv Jacob
Born(1945-01-27)January 27, 1945
DiedFebruary 26, 2019(2019-02-26) (aged 74)
NationalityUnited States American

Murv Jacob (January 27, 1945 - February 26, 2019) was an American artist and illustrator. He is known for his paintings illustrating the culture of the Cherokee tribe and the landscape of the southeastern United States.

Early life[edit]

Jacob was born in Glendale, Ohio. Raised in eastern Kansas, he attended San Bernardino Valley College in California.


From 1965 to 1967 Jacob lived in San Francisco, where he made posters for artists such as Allen Ginsberg and the Grateful Dead.[1] He returned to Kansas in 1971, and in 1984 moved to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a center for the culture of the Cherokee Nation.[2]

Jacob created oil and acrylic paintings[3] portraying the old and modern Cherokee dances, and the villages, animals, landscapes[4] and perhaps best known for his illustrations of the old Cherokee animal stories[5] especially those about Ji-sdu the rabbit and Yona the bear.[6]

In 2011, Jacob co-wrote and illustrated the book Secret History of the Cherokees[7]

In 2015, Jacob was in the news when a neighbors insisted that he remove a graffiti-like painting which he had commissioned on the side wall of his studio fifteen years before.[8][9]

Jacob died on February 26, 2019.[10]


Jacob won more than 50 awards, and has twice been voted Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers' Illustrator of the Year.[1] In 2012, he won the Wordcraft Circle Award for Secret History of the Cherokees.[11]

Jacob and his partner Debbie Duvall, who have collaborated on a dozen books, received the “Oklahoma Book Award” in 2005 for their seven book series “The Grandmother Stories”.[12][13]

Selected illustration credits[edit]

  • Rabbit and the Well
  • Rabbit and the Fingerbone Necklace[14]
  • Rabbit Goes to Kansas
  • Rabbit Plants the Forest
  • Rabbit and the Wolves
  • Rabbit Goes Duck Hunting
  • Rabbit and the Bears
  • The Opossum's Tale
  • How Rabbit Tricked Otter and Other Cherokee Trickster Stories[15][16]
  • How Rabbit Lost his Tail
  • How Medicine Came to the People: a Tale of the Ancient Cherokees
  • The Great Ball Game of the Birds and Animals, winner of the 2003 Oklahoma book awards[17]
  • Four Ancestors: Stories, Songs, and Poems from Native North America[18]
  • Tecumseh: Leader
  • How Turtle‘s Back Was Cracked
  • Boy Who Lived with the Bears and Other Iroquois Stories[19]
  • Rabbit and the Bears
  • Dog People: Native Dog Stories
  • Turtle Meat and Other Stories
  • Circle of Thanks
  • Flying with the Eagle, Racing the Great Bear
  • The Legend of the Windigo[3]
  • The Dark Island
  • The Long Way Home
  • The Dark Way
  • Mountain Windsong
  • Cherokee Dragon
  • The Way of the Priests
  • War Woman
  • The Peace Chief
  • The War Trail North
  • The Way South
  • Ezekiel's Wheels
  • The Education of Little Tree
  • Pushing the Bear
  • Designs of the Night Sky
  • Mankiller: A Chief and her people
  • Tribes of the Southern Woodlands



  1. ^ a b Conley, Robert J. (2007). "Jacob, Murv". A Cherokee Encyclopedia. UNM Press. ISBN 9780826339515.
  2. ^ Blankenship, Bill (6 April 2006). "A rabbit's tale Award-winning children's book illustrator Jacob puts a Cherokee spin on a Kansas legend". The Capital-Journal.
  3. ^ a b "THE LEGEND OF THE WINDIGO by Gayle Ross , Murv Jacob | Kirkus Reviews" – via
  4. ^ Appalachian Children's Literature: An Annotated Bibliography. McFarland. 3 November 2009. pp. 78–. ISBN 978-0-7864-6019-9.
  5. ^ Jennifer McClinton-Temple; Alan Velie (2013). Encyclopedia of American Indian Literature. Infobase Learning. pp. 175–. ISBN 978-1-4381-4057-5.
  6. ^ Appalachian Children's Literature: An Annotated Bibliography. McFarland. 3 November 2009. pp. 77–. ISBN 978-0-7864-6019-9.
  7. ^ " Cherokees’ Secret History, Revealed"]. Indian Country Today, Wilhelm Murg.
  8. ^ "Up against the wall". Talhlequah Daily Press. March 23, 2015.
  9. ^ "City Of Tahlequah Rules Mural Graffiti 15 Years After Painting". News on 6. Mar 20, 2015.
  10. ^ "Remembering the life of Murv Jacob 1945 - 2019".
  11. ^ "Wordcraft Circle Award 2012". Archived from the original on July 5, 2013.
  12. ^ "Oklahoma Book Award 2005 Finalists". Oklahoma Department of Libraries. Archived from the original on June 21, 2016.
  13. ^ "Book Review: Secret History of the Cherokees". Native American Times.
  14. ^ Alice Crosetto; Rajinder Garcha (12 September 2013). Native North Americans in Literature for Youth: A Selective Annotated Bibliography for K-12. Scarecrow Press. pp. 107–. ISBN 978-0-8108-9190-6.
  15. ^ "Children's Book Review: How Rabbit Tricked Otter and Other Cherokee Trickster Stories: And Other Cherokee Trickster Stories by Gayle Ross, Author, Murv Jacob, Illustrator, Murv Jacob, Photographer HarperCollins Publishers $18.95 (79p) ISBN 978-0-06-021285-8".
  16. ^ Beth Bartleson Zarian (1 January 2004). Around the World with Historical Fiction and Folktales: Highly Recommended and Award-winning Books, Grades K-8. Scarecrow Press. pp. 240–. ISBN 978-0-8108-4816-0.
  17. ^ Statewide Book Awards Gain in Popularity: News from the Center for the Book, Library of Congress
  18. ^ Children's Book Review: Four Ancestors: Stories, Songs, and Poems from Native North America by Joseph Bruchac, Author, Duke Sine, Illustrator, Murv Jacob, Illustrator Bridgewa...
  19. ^ Pamela S. Gates; Dianne L. Hall Mark (16 August 2010). Cultural Journeys: Multicultural Literature for Elementary and Middle School Students. Scarecrow Press. pp. 73–. ISBN 978-1-4422-0688-5.
  20. ^ Paulette Fairbanks Molin (1 January 2005). American Indian Themes in Young Adult Literature. Scarecrow Press. pp. 102–. ISBN 978-0-8108-5081-1.


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