Google is commemorating Native American Heritage Month by highlighting the work of Chiricahua Apache artist Allan Haozous in today’s Google Doodle, wherein he is shown chiseling a sculpture of an Apache man and woman.
Born in 1914 in Apache, Oklahoma, Haozous, who sometimes went by the last name Houser, learned about his culture through the stories and songs his father shared. Haozous’s parents had been held for 27 years as political prisoners because of their tribal affiliation, and passing along the heritage became a key act for the family.
At age 20, Haozous moved to New Mexico, where he began painting at the Santa Fe Indian School and quickly garnered local recognition. In 1939, Haozous painted murals for the New York World’s Fair, the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., and the Golden Gate Exposition. His 1948 marble sculpture Comrade in Mourning was commissioned by the Haskell Institute as a memorial honoring Native American soldiers who had died in World War I. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship for sculpting and painting in 1949.
Between 1951 and 1975, Haozous taught at the Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah, and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he founded the sculpture department. It was during this time that Haozous not only fostered the next generation of Native American artists, but also expanded his artistic range creating hundreds of paintings, illustrations, and metal and stone carvings.
When he retired from teaching in 1975, Haozous went on to make nearly 1,000 sculptures for which he received international acclaim. In 1985, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and in 2002, he was the featured artist for the Winter Olympics in Utah. Haozous was the first Native American to win the National Medal of Arts in 1992. He died at 80 in Sante Fe two years later.
His work can be found in a number of institutions, including London’s British Royal Collection, Paris’s Centre Pompidou, Pheonix’s Heard Museum, Washington D.C.’s National Museum of American Art, and Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art.
Previous Google doodles have paid homage to such prolific artists as Rosa Bonheur, Paula Modersohn-Becker, and Pacita Abad. They have also been used to mark notable dates, events, and holidays.