In early June, 2018, Minisa Crumbo Halsey, former Koshare Foundation Trustee, once again blessed the Koshare Museum with a very special donation.
Many years ago, Woody Crumbo created “Spotted Wolf’s Last Request”. This piece is a finely detailed oil painting depicting the authentic essence of a Native Warrior’s burial. Woody created this piece after reading the story of a special written request left with a U.S. Army commander to facilitate this special honor should Clarence Spotted Wolf die in battle. Pfc. Clarence Spotted Wolf died near Luxembourg, December 21, 1944.
Woody Crumbo sold the original painting to the Koshare Museum in the late 1950’s. The painting has always held a prominent place in the museum collection. Due to Woody’s strong connection with the Koshare program and museum, the blessings of many gifts of time, knowledge and tradition have been passed to the Koshare Museum from Woody’s family. Woody came and spoke to the youth at La Junta many times, telling of his life experiences and almost always telling the story of Spotted Wolf and how the painting was created.
Now, thanks again to the generosity of Minisa, Woody Crumbo’s daughter, the Koshares now have the privilege to own and display the graphite pencil tracing that Woody created in 1951 – 1952 to set the elements for the painting in place. Minisa relates that her father drafted the sketches and the final tracing in his studio on Kit Carson Avenue in Taos. Once he had the tracing exactly as he wanted it, he set it on an easel next to his painting easel in the window of his gallery. There he painstakingly transformed pencil forms to create the finished oil painting we all love.
The gift was presented to the Koshare Foundation at Tulsa, Oklahoma near the main entrance to the Gilcrease Museum where Woody was a long time artist in residence and friend of Thomas Gilcrease. Minisa had the graphite pencil tracing properly prepared and protected by an Oklahoma art conservator.
Minisa gifts the Koshare Museum with gentle spirit power and reminds us of the Circle of Life. She very much wanted Woody’s creative sketches to be part of the Koshare museum collection and be available as a part of the story of this great painting. Per her request, plans are in the offing to be able to display both painting and pencil tracing so that visitors may see the detail and technical aspects used to create “Spotted Wolf’s Last Request.”
The pencil tracing was presented to Jeremy Manyik, Director of the Koshare Museum at the Koshare 85th Anniversary weekend, June 16th, 2018.