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Life of Blackbear Bosin

Contact: Angela Cato, Arts & Cultural Services |
New Indian Center exhibit opens May 18
The Mid-America All-Indian Center is celebrating the opening of its newest exhibit “Tsate Kongia: Walking in Two Worlds, the Life of Blackbear Bosin” with special $1 Museum admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 18.  The exhibit gives an in-depth look into the personal and professional life of Bosin, one of the founders of the Indian Center and the man behind Wichita’s iconic Keeper of the Plains sculpture. The exhibit opening coincides with the 39th birthday of the Keeper of the Plains. It was installed in its current location at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers on May 18, 1974.
“Many people are familiar with Bosin’s story as an American Indian artist, but not as many are aware of his life in the non-American Indian world as a platemaker for Western Lithograph and an illustrator for Boeing Aircraft,” said Museum Director Deborah Roseke. “This exhibit educates visitors about the complete man.”
Tsate Kongia was Bosin’s Kiowa name. It means "Blackbear" and belonged to his great-grandfather, a Kiowa chief. The exhibit includes paintings, photographs, vintage film footage, live audio tapes made by Bosin and interviews with people who were close to him. Many of the items are recent acquisitions by the Museum and have never been seen or heard by the general public.
Bosin was an internationally recognized Comanche-Kiowa sculptor and acrylic/watercolor painter from Oklahoma who adopted Wichita as his home in 1940. Primarily a self-taught artist, Bosin helped enhance a better understanding of his culture by presenting scenes and tales of his beloved Indian heritage beautifully to the world. National Geographic gave Bosin his first national recognition in March 1955 with the publication of his painting "Prairie Fire."
Staring May 18, “Tsate Kongia: Walking in Two Worlds, the Life of Blackbear Bosin” will be on permanent display in the Indian Center Museum. The Museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For admission prices and more information, go to
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