More to Explore

Allan Houser Chronology

Allan Houser Chronology



Born June 30 to Sam and Blossom Haozous on the family farm near Apache, OK.


Began grade school at Boone Public School, Boone, OK.


Attended Fort Sill Indian School, Lawton, OK.

1923 - 1928

Completed grade school at Boone Public School.


Began high school at Cholocco Indian School in northern OK.


Left high school to work on the family farm.


Studied under Dorothy Dunn at the Painting Studio of the Santa Fe Indian School, Santa Fe, NM.


Exhibited paintings at the World’s Fair, New York, NY.

Participated in the Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco, CA.

With Navajo painter Gerald Nailor, commissioned to paint murals in the Department of the Interior Building, Washington, D.C.

Paintings exhibited at the World’s Fair, San Francisco; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.; and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Married Anna Marie Gallegos.


Commissioned to paint life-size murals in the Department of the Interior Building Penthouse, Washington, D.C.


Studied with Norwegian muralist Olle Nordmark in a special program for outstanding students and teachers at the Fort Sill Indian School in Lawton, OK. Encouraged by Nordmark to explore sculpture.

Began small wood carvings.


Moved with his family to Los Angeles, where he found war-related work as a pipe fitter’s assistant.


Worked in construction while painting and sculpting at night.


Commissioned by the Haskell Institute, Lawrence, Kansas, to create a monumental marble sculpture, "Comrade in Mourning," honoring the Native Americans who died in World War II. The sculpture was dedicated in 1948.


Awarded the Grand Award, third annual competition, Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, OK.


Received a Guggenheim Fellowship in painting and sculpture. Worked on his projects in a studio set up on the family farm in Oklahoma.


Commissioned by the Southern Plains Indian Museum, Anadarko, OK, to create four dioramas.

1951 -1962

Artist-in-Residence and teacher at the Inter-Mountain School, Brigham City, Utah.

1952 - 1962

Commissioned by various writers to illustrate children’s books on Southwestern themes.


Awarded the “Palmes d’Academique” by the French Government for his outstanding work as teacher and artist.


Commissioned to design the 59th medal for the American Society of Medalists.

1962 -1975

Teacher and later head of the sculpture department at the newly formed Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM


Received a Certificate of Achievement from U.S. Department of Interior for his work as artist and educator. The citation recognized him as “one of the nation’s foremost sculptors.”

Cast first bronze works at Nambé, NM (small town located northeast of Santa Fe, NM)


"Sacred Rain Arrow" (wood) wins “Grand Award” at the Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, OK.


 Exhibited stone, bronze, and welded steel sculpture at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ.


Exhibited paintings and sculpture at the Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa,OK.


Awarded Gold Medal, “Sculpture I Exhibition”, Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ.


Commissioned to paint official portrait of former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall.


Retired from teaching to devote himself to sculpture.

Solo Exhibition, Governor’s Gallery, State Capitol, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Commissioned by a Private Art Collector to create a memorial bronze sculpture, "Coming of Age," for the Denver Art Museum.


 Exhibited in Sacred Circles Indian Art Exhibition, Kansas City, MO.


Artist-in-Residence, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.


Solo Exhibition at Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.


Elected to National Advisory Board, Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ.

Received “Governor’s Award for the Visual Arts,” State of New Mexico.


Participated in “Contemporary Amerindian Painting”, Kennedy Center and Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Exhibition traveled to Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Argentina.


Visited Europe to participate in an exhibition at the Salon d’Automne du, Grand Palais, Paris.


Dedication of the life-size bronze, "Chiricahua Apache Family," at Fort Sill Apache Tribal Center in Apache,OK . The sculpture honors the memory of his parents and commemorates the seventieth anniversary of the release of the Apache prisoners of war from Fort Sill.


Received Governor’s Award for the Visual Arts and named Governor’s Cultural Ambassador, State of Oklahoma.


Participated in FIAC International Exhibit, Salon d’Automne, Paris.

Returned to Europe to inaugurate a touring exhibition that opened at Amerika Haus, Berlin. Exhibition traveled to Hanover, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Nuremberg, and Munich.


 “Houser and Haozous: A Sculptural Retrospective”, Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ.


Opening of exhibition at the Kunstlerhaus Wien, Vienna, Austria. Exhibition traveled through 1986 to Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria.

“Houser: New Visions”, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Santa Fe, NM.


Monumental bronze Offering of the Sacred Pipe dedicated at the United States Mission to the United Nations, New York City. 

A related solo exhibition was mounted at the United States Mission to the United Nations, New York City.


Inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.


Dedication of "The Future," a monumental bronze sculpture commissioned by Cavan Associates, Albuquerque, NM. This dedication honored Futures for Children, an Albuquerque-based organization devoted to helping Indian children in the Southwest.


Created a bronze bust of "Geronimo" to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the surrender of the Chiricahua Apaches. The sculpture was presented to the Fort Sill Apache Tribal Center in Apache, OK. In addition, a cast was presented to the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.


Honorary Ph.D. in Fine Arts, University of Maine.


Dedication of "As Long as the Waters Flow," a monumental bronze sculpture commissioned for the Oklahoma State Capitol Building, Oklahoma City, OK.


Received “American Indian Distinguished Achievement Award” presented by American Indian Resources Institute, Washington, D. C.


“A New Mexico Tradition: Southwestern Realism”, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM; and Taiwan Museum of Art, Taichun, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Presented "Sacred Rain Arrow," a monumental bronze sculpture dedicated to the American Indian of the United States Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.


“Allan Houser: A Life in Art”, touring exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe.


First American Indian to receive the “National Medal of Arts”, the nation’s highest honor for artists. The award was presented by President George H. W. Bush.


Opening of “The Allan Houser Art Park”, and dedication of monumental bronze, "Evolution," Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe, NM.

Prix de West, Purchase Award, acquisition of bronze sculpture, "Smoke Signals," National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, OK.


“Retrospective Solo Exhibition”, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, IN.


Ph.D. Humane Letters, University of Oklahoma


In April, gifted "May We Have Peace," a bronze sculpture, “dedicated to the American people of the United States from the First Americans.” The gift was accepted by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton for placement on the grounds of the Vice-Presidential residence in Washington, D.C.


 On August 22, Allan Houser died at his home in Santa Fe, NM.




Posthumously awarded the inaugural “Lifetime Achievement Award”, Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM . The award is intended to honor masters of contemporary Indian art for their artistic achievements, personal integrity and impact on Native American arts.