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Artist Studio: Douglas Little Bison "Doug"

Douglas Little Bison "Doug"

Born: 1944 (Los Angeles)

Lived/Active: Washington

Profession(s): Sculptor

Style(s): Realist

Medium(s): Bronze

Price Information as of 05/06/2012:
Sculptures: $400 to $20,000

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Artist Biography:

At a young age, Douglas Little Bison learned of his heritage as the great-grandson of Big Foot (SiTanka), leader of Miniconjou-Lakota, whose Sioux band perished at Wounded Knee, South Dakota in the winter of 1890. For many years, Doug has nurtured the talent and skills handed down from a proud ancestry.

Always interested in nature, especially the big game of North America, he has spent years studying animal form. His field studies have provided greater understanding of the wildlife fundamental to the life of the early plains people. Respecting the importance of wildlife in Indian culture, Doug Bison succeeds in recreating this union between man and animal through the medium of bronze.

When working, Doug often reflects on an important part of his family's history, of a place long ago. It's a distant place - memories his grandfather locked away to be diluted by the passing of time, memories that Bison dug up as a young child after learning of his heritage.

The place is Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota. On Dec. 29, 1890, some 370 Lakota Sioux were massacred by the U.S. 7th Cavalry.

The massacre at Wounded Knee was the last - and most tragic - confrontation between American Indians and U.S. troops. Bison's great-grandfather, the Minneconjou-Lakota chief SiTanka (Big Foot), was among the first killed.

Little Bison - a son of Big Foot and Doug Bison's grandfather - survived. He was in his early to mid-twenties the winter of 1890 and fled during the battle into Nebraska. A white rancher took him in and he worked for a number of years on his cattle ranches from Nebraska to Texas. The benevolent farmer and friend later sent him to a language school on the East Coast. It was there Little Bison met his future wife, a Scottish immigrant.

What Bison learned about his heritage molded him into the artist he is today. Doug began sculpting in 1980. He studied the history of the Minneconjou-Lakota and the tragedy of Wounded Knee. He studied animal form, particularly the big game of North America. What he learned spurred an attention to detail in depicting the American Indian people and the wildlife that was fundamental to their lives. Bison recreates this union between man and animal through the medium of bronze. "I want to perpetuate the indigenous people, the Native Americans," Bison said of his art. "They had an incredible history. If you can keep putting their life and culture in front of the public, in my case thru my art, they'll not be forgotten."

Doug's sculpture, honored with numerous awards, is now found in collections throughout the United States and Canada. Attention to authenticity in depicting the Native American is evident in all of his work. Essentially self-taught, Doug Bison has exhibited across the U.S. His bronzes are a treasure for all collectors of Western and Wildlife Art. He also regularly accepts commission work.  Living in the Islands the past 32 years, Bison has recently moved his Gallery, "Blackfish Gallery", from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, to La Conner, Washington.  
Lambiel Museum, Eastsound, Washington

Dealers or Representatives:
Blackfish Gallery - La Conner, WA
Cross References and Sources:
Native Peoples Mag

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