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KEY Oklahoma City

diningVisitors to Oklahoma City can experience the new exhibit - Life and Legacy: The Art of Jerome Tiger at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. The exhibit celebrates the life and legacy of Jerome Tiger on 50th anniversary of his death.

Born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, on July 8, 1941, Tiger was a Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole painter who lived in Eufaula and Muskogee, Oklahoma. Leaving school at age 16, he joined the U.S. Navy, serving in the Reserves from 1958 to 1960. Tiger found formal schooling unsatisfying, encouraging him to pursue his passion of drawing and painting.

His first steps into the art world came in 1962 after submitting several paintings to the American Indian Artists Annual at Tulsa’s Philbrook Art Museum. This jumpstarted his career and allowed others to recognize his talent and unique style. During the next five years, he produced hundreds of paintings, bringing a number of honors. Tiger’s style is said to be a combination of “spiritual vision, humane understanding, and technical virtuosity” with traditional subject matter and composition.

Tiger died in 1967 at the age of 26. Fifty years later, the Museum commemorates the anniversary of his death. Although his career was cut short, he is recognized today as one of the most distinguished Native American artists of all time – his work continues to be shown in museums across the nation.

“It is a great honor to display the coveted works of Jerome Tiger at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum,” said the Museum’s Curator of Ethnology Eric Singleton. “As a Museum and educational institution, it is our responsibility to teach and preserve the history of the American West, and Tiger’s story is one that will be told for generations to follow.”

The Museum is open Monday thru Saturday 10 to 5 and Sunday noon to 5. For more information about this exhibition and related programming, visit or call (405) 478-2250.

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