Woodrow Wilson Crumbo Biography

Woodrow Wilson Crumbo





“Woody” Crumbo was born Woodrow Wilson Crumbo on January 21, 1912 in Lexington, Oklahoma. His background spans several tribes of Indians. He was born of the Potawatomi Tribe and lived with a Creek family as a boy. There he leaned their language, ceremonial and cultural habits and studied the sensitive, sacred religious ceremonies of the Kiowa. Later, he was adopted by a Sioux family by the name of Crow Necklace at Standing Rock, South Dakota.
His early schooling was at a Government Indian School in Chilocco, Oklahoma. He was chosen to attend the American Indian Institute at Wichita, Kansas, a small private Indian school founded by Dr. Henry Roe Clowd, a full blooded Winnebago Indian who dedicated himself to the education and leadership training of a small select group of Indian boys in the fields of art education and religious concepts. After finishing high school at the American Indian Institute he attended the University of Wichita and Oklahoma University.
Crumbo was widely known for his etching, silk screens and paintings. He is represented by six large murals in the new Department of Interior Building, Washington, DC., about 175 paintings in the Gilcrease Museum's permanent collection, Tulsa, Oklahoma and in other public building as well as many museums and private collections throughout the United States.
Woody Crumbo excelled in many other fields, such as: dancing, stained-glass design and as a maker and player of Indian flutes. He had been a Director of Art at Bacone Indian College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, curator, museum director, writer, poet and sculptor. He dedicated himself to portraying the culture of the American Indian and preserving their ancient traditions.
Woody Crumbo died on April 4, 1989 at Cimarron, New Mexico.