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 Celebrating Our 21st Year 

Artwork by Jerome Tiger, Sr.

2 artworks currently available by Jerome Tiger, Sr..

About the Artist

(1941-1967)  "Jerome Tiger was a full blood Creek-Seminole, born in 1941 in Oklahoma.  He grew up on the campgrounds that surrounded his grandfather's Indian Baptist church near the sleepy town of Eufaula.  Research for many of his paintings began when he was still a child as he traveled with his maternal grandfather, Coleman Lewis, a Baptist Missionary.  Coleman traveled throughout Indian Country and on the long rides through the backwoods to churches, and Coleman taught his grandson the history of the Creek people in his native Creek language.

In Enfaula and later in Muskogee, Tiger attended public schools, learned English, and became familiar with such marvels of white culture as running water, indoor toilets, and telephones.  He was a high school dropout, a street and ring fighter of exceptional ability, and a laborer.  He married and had three children.  And he died in 1967, at the age of twenty-six, of a gunshot wound to the head.  Tiger's legacy was his paintings: a body of work of exquisite beauty that revolutionized American Indian art.

The success and genius of Tiger's art can be attributed to what was called the Tiger style--a unique combination of spiritual vision, humane understanding, and technical virtuosity.  In subject matter and composition, his art was traditional.  In every other respect, it was a radical departure from classical Indian art.

When Tiger began painting in the 1960's, few, if any, artists could make a living in Indian art. With some formal training at the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland,  against all odds, he committed himself to Indian art, and from 1962 until 1967, produced hundreds of paintings that from the outset received the acclaim of critics, won awards, and brought him success and recognition.  The average Indian art buyer of the 1960's was unduly critical, ready to find fault with the quality of a piece of work or the authenticity of its details.  To be popular with such an audience, not only did Tiger have to be technically competent but inventive and prolific.

Since his death, Tiger's style has had a tremendous influence on the Indian artists that have succeeded him.  One art critic commented--"Wherever there are Indian paintings today, Tiger's influence can be felt."  With almost unanimous agreement, Native American artists credit Jerome Tiger with being the major influence in the development of contemporary Indian art.  Tiger was an artist's artist." taken from the book " The Life and Art of Jerome Tiger by Peggy Tiger and Molly Babcock (1980)