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 Miles S. Horn  (1892/94 - )

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Lived/Active: Montana/North Dakota      Known for: Native American scene, landscape

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Ad Code: 4
Miles S Horn
An example of work by Miles S. Horn
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A painter, musician, professional baseball player, actor and cowboy, Miles Horn was an Arikara Indian with the name of White Crow. He was born in 1894 on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota, and was a nephew of Red Star who served as a scout to General George Custer's Seventh Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in Montana. He was one of the few survivors who lived to tell the story.

White Crow also served in the military in both World Wars and was seriously wounded by a land mine in War World II, having enlisted at Fort Snelling in Minnesota. He was discharged with a 70 percent disability.

He took his art education at Otis Art Institute and lived most of his life in Miles City, Montana. He was a musician in an all-Indian brass band, playing solo coronet; a range rider and cowboy for the U.S. Government; a big-game hunter and a rancher on land near Lame Deer, Montana. In 1929, he worked with actor Gary Cooper in the movie, "Oregon Trail" near Moran, Wyoming.

One of his paintings, "The West's First Americans", a scene of an Indian encampment against a panoramic landscape of the Big Horn Mountain Range, took first prize at the Wyoming State Fair in 1954. Subsequently the painting was displayed at Verihoff Art Galleries in Washington, DC, and then was included in the United States' arts and crafts display section of the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels. The setting of the painting was near Sheridan, Wyoming where Miles Horn had his studio.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a painting by White Crow in the White House, and it is now a part of the Hyde Park Collection.

According to art historian Jeanne Snodgrass in her book "American Indian Painters", the artist "was encouraged to paint by Charles Russell and was a popular artist in the Upper Great Plains area for many years." (Lester 244) As a teen-age boy, White Crow met Russell in 1915 in Miles City, Montana, and the friendship proved beneficial to both because he taught Russell some authentic details about Indian culture, and Russell encouraged White Crow to pursue his talents. He also invited White Crow to live with him at Great Falls, but he decided against the arrangement to insure his independence.

Additional encouragement for White Crow came from actor Will Rogers and illustrator Norman Rockwell, who had been a classmate of Horn at the Otis Art Institute in a refresher course for advanced artists and art teachers.

According to Harold Horn, the son of White Crow, many of his father's works had been collected by one person and unfortunately were destroyed in a fire. However the original painting of "The West's First American" was displayed at the Sitting Bull Monument in South Dakota "when they last visited there about seven years ago." (Bray)

Sources include:
Biography by the artist attached to the back of a print of the painting, "The West's First Americans", courtesy Randy Bray, who also visited with Harold Horn, son of the artist.
Patrick Lester. "The Biographical Dictionary of Native American Painters"
Cowan's Auctions, Inc., March 2005

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