Quanah Parker Exhibit – One Man Two Worlds

 

DSCN0995

I was starting to have Cabin Fever. Looking outside my Texas Air Doctors office window at the beautiful weather. It had me feeling like a bird in a cage.

So I went to my boss, Frank, and asked him if I could take part of the day off to see the Quanah Parker Exhibit in Grapevine.

Although I didn’t originally know who Quanah Parker was, the exhibit initially grabbed my attention because of his mother – Cynthia Ann Parker. Her life and history is legend here in Tarrant County and particularly Northeast Tarrant County.

It seems that her family was among a group of early East Texas settlers and they established a fortress between Groesbeck and Mexia along the Navasota River. When she was about 9-years old, the fort was attacked by Comanche Indians and most of the adults including, her parents and grandmother were killed and she was kidnapped. She was raised by the Comanches and eventually married the chief.

Stories abound that Chief Peta Nocona was so enamored with his white bride, that contrary to Indian tradition to take multiple wives, she was his only wife. Together they had three children, two boys and a girl.DSCN1013.JPG

During one particularly fierce battle known as the Battle of the Pease River, near what is now Quanah, Texas, the Texas Rangers found her and her daughter “Prairie Flower” and reintroduced them to white society. Her oldest son, Quanah, was away on a hunting and the fate of her youngest son Pecos is undetermined. Controversy surrounds the fate of her husband, Chief Nocona some saying he was killed while others claim he lived for a long time afterwards.

Cynthia Ann lived in “Birdville” with her uncle, but she hated the civilized life of the settlers! She longed for her Indian family and tried on occasion to return to them. Cynthia was never fully able to adjust. After her daughter Prairie Flower died of pneumonia, Cynthia Ann soon died, probably from grief.

DSCN1010.JPG

Quanah’s history is very interesting because as his Mother went from the life of white society to one who was fully indoctrinated in the Indian culture, Quanah did the opposite, going from an Indian culture to being fully indoctrinated into the white society.

As a young man Quanah became the greatest Chief and leader of the Comanche Tribe. Leading his people against the encroachment of the white settlers and the buffalo hunters, who were destroying their way of life. The Comanche depended on the Buffalo for everything. Without Buffalo, their way of life would die.

On one occasion Quanah lead the fight against a group of buffalo hunters who had established a headquarters at a place called Adobe Walls, just north of Amarillo. The hunters would fan out in all directions to kill the buffalo in huge number leaving the carcasses to rot and taking only the skins to ship back east.

The battle lasted three days and the Comanche lost the battle when one of the hunters, using a new Buffalo Gun, supposedly knocked Quanah from his horse at a distance of almost a mile. It became known as “The Shot That Was Heard Around the World.” Quanah carried a bullet in his body from that battle for the rest of his life.

DSCN1007

He eventually gave up his battle with the U.S. Government and settled on the Comanche reservation in Oklahoma. There he was like a CEO of a major corporation: Cattle drovers paid the Comanche tribe a royalty for every head of cattle that crossed their land during the great cattle drives; Ranchers came to negotiate grazing rights on the vast expanses Comanche land; railroads paid to travel across Comanche Territories. Quanah and his tribe became very wealthy in a white man’s world due to his business acumen.

As he embraced the white culture, he took his mother’s maiden name and became known as Quanah Parker. He was well respected among the white Texas settlers becoming friends with such notables as Samuel Burk Burnet and President Theodore Roosevelt, in fact President Roosevelt declared that Quanah was the “Last Comanche Chief.

There is a statue of him in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historical District, because of his connection to Fort Worth and the Stock Show.

DSCN1012

Once an Army General visited Quanah’s home, near Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Quanah was so inspired by the General’s Uniform Star insignias that Quanah had large stars painted on the roof of his home.DSCN1003.JPG

It was fascinated by the exhibit and the pictures of Quanah Parker’s life, all on display right there in Grapevine at the Grapevine Visitor Information Center.

After looking at the Quanah Parker Exhibit and all of the pictures, I looked at some brochures and realized that there were other museums here!

But I didn’t have time for them today, I had an appointment back at the office and I wanted to grab lunch at Mason Dixie while I was here.

They have a New Special of a Brisket – Grilled Cheese Sandwich! Yum!

DSCN1040.JPG

I’ll have to do the other museums another day, besides, if I’m not back soon, the Texas Air Doctor’s office may fall apart without me. Ha! Just kidding Frank!

Amon Carter Museum

Christmas is finally over and it’s a brand new year, so I’ve been online searching for events, looking for something interesting to fill my weekends and tell you about. I found four very interesting exhibits, all at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth’s Cultural District.

If you’re not familiar with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, it’s fantastic! Even if you’re not into the museum experience and it is quite spacious and has a terrific view of downtown Fort Worth. The museum has original Mr. Carter’s western art collection, such as Remington bronzes and paintings along with his daughter’s collection of modern art works.

Ruth Carter Stevenson is Amon Carter’s daughter and after his death she was responsible for organizing the museum according to Mr. Carters’ wishes. He requested that much of his considerable wealth be used to build a museum to house the works he already owned and to purchase and display additional art as a public service for the citizens of Fort Worth, a city he dearly loved. Mr. Carter’s desire was that his museum be free, and it including special exhibits.

DSCN0859

Today you can see the following exhibits:

Texas Folk Art runs through September 19 and is exactly what it says – Folk Art. Paintings and sculptures by itinerant artists from Texas that have very basic lines but lots of visuals showing what life was like day to day in the artists perspective.  I found these pictures to be amateurish and simple. It made me wonder what it would be like to live in that time, was it really that dull and monotonous?

folk art

Clara McDonald Williamson, The Family Room, 1955  

folk art 2

Clara McDonald Williamson, Landscape by Moonlight, 1957-58

Another exhibit was Tales from the American West: The Rees-Jones Collection, which will be in town until February 21. Trevor Rees-Jones, the collector, became interested in western art, when he visited the Amon Carter as a young boy. His collection spans from the eighteenth century through the 1920s. Sculptures, watercolors, and much more are on display. The exhibit mainly portrays the American way of life of in the West, displaying everything from Indians to landscapes, they spoke to the Cowgirl in me. Riding horses, herding cattle and fighting off outlaws and bad guys. Well, maybe I’ve watched a few too many western movies.

american west

This one is a favorite, Charles Schreyvogel, Protecting the Enigrants, 1906

DSCN0868

Another favorite, Adolph Alexander Weinman, Chief Black Bird, Ogalalla Sioux modeled 1903, Bronze.

Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum, which is a kind of art that came after the War of Independence, all of the artists are self-taught. According to selftaughtgenius.org, as the field matured under the umbrella of “folk art” it also expanded to include a wider variety of artists. For the last twenty years, the term “self-taught” is more about addressing the artistic inspiration from unsuspected paths and unconventional spaces. As you can see, the range of Self-Taught Artwork ranges from letters, books, quilts, to even buildings made out of airplane parts, wood, metal, glass, etc. It was quite an amazing display including a variety for forms including textile, furniture, drawings, ceramics, etc., dating from the eighteenth century to the present.

self taught

Ammi Phillips, Girl in Red Dress with Cat and Dog, 1830-1835

2002.35.1

Marino Auriti, Encyclopedia Palace/Palazzo, ca. 1950s

10660327_10205258023679011_4658003489253673051_n

Marino Auriti, Encyclopedia Palace/Palazzo,  ca. 1950s

DSCN0875.JPG

Artist unidentified, Pictorial Table Rug, c. 1840

My favorite though was  That Day: Laura Wilson which lasts until February 14.

Perhaps it’s my favorite because I’m a movie buff and Laura Wilson lives in Dallas and is the mother three actors – Andrew, Owen, and Luke Wilson.

Her exhibit of seventy-two black and white photographs are both startling and mesmerizing. Kind of like watching a car crash – you don’t want to look, but you have to. It’s an interesting collection of beauty and violence. Each one was different than the last, and each single frame told a story that lead to the next.

94-33.10a

Laura Wilson, Debutante and Her Maids, Laredo, Texas, February 18, 1994

azborder.1.30

Laura Wilson, Young Woman with Child, border camp, Arizona-Sonora border, June 30, 2000

cowboyswalking

Laura Wilson, Cowboys Walking, J.R. Green Cattle Company, Shackelford County, Texas, May 13, 1997

So, wow, I picked the right day to go the Amon Carter, 4 exhibits and an entire day to enjoy them.

The Amon Carter Museum, located at 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth 76107 in the Cultural District of Fort Worth. The Amon Catrer Museum of American Art is free, as per Amon Carter wanted: non-profit. They have several exhibits that occur so it’s great to stop by any day of the week and just take a break from the world and enjoy the beauty in art.

 

Deandra

Texas Air Doctors’ Social Media Director

Want to know what’s going on in your town or have suggestions for me?

Read my blog at http://itsyourtown.com or Contact me at Deandra@TexasAirDoctors.com