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Lady of Spring - Willard Stone

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Lady of Spring

Lady of Spring, n.d.

Willard Stone (1915 - 1985)

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.

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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