biography of Howard Leo BARNETT (1908-c.1987)

Birth place: Lake City, CO

Death place: Canon City, CO

Addresses: Canon City, CO

Profession: Painter

Studied: Thomas M. McKee (photographer), 1923; San Diego Art Acad.; AIC; Layton Sch. Art, Milwaukee

Exhibited: many Western art galleries; Canon Fine Arts Center, 1978 (solo)

Member: Santa Cruz Valley AA (founding mem., 1959)

Work: Cripple Creek Mus.

Comments: Painter of Indian, cowboy, and Western scenes, he lived on a cattle ranch with his family until 1934. During the Depression he traded his paintings for surplus farm produce. He traveled from Mexico to Canada recording Indian life and customs, but his special focus was the Sioux on whose reservation in South Dakota he lived for long periods. He came to know Black Elk, and the Sioux named him "Oyate Sha Ya" (painter of the nation). During his career as a painter he was also a gold miner in various towns in Colorado. While gold-mining, he painted murals for the depot at Cripple Creek, now a museum. By the 1960s his work had become popular, and he spent his winters in Tucson and Old Mexico, and gave radio lectures on Plains and Southwestern Indian tribes. He had a large collection of Indian relics.

Sources: courtesy Harriet Barnett.