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Jim Lacy Red Corn

Osage artist Jim Lacy Red Corn, also known as Walanke, was born on May 9, 1938, to Harold and Louise Red Corn in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Red Corn’s art practice ranges across diverse styles and disciplines, including painting, textile design, printmaking, and Osage regalia. Even when he was a child, his artwork created a visual narrative for and understanding of his Indigenous identity, and he was influenced at an early age by other artists in his family including an uncle, Wakon Iron Redcorn,1 and grandfather Raymond Red Corn. He was raised as a lifelong member of the Osage I’n-Lon-Schka ceremonial and inherited Osage art forms, creating moccasins, fans, belts, and deer-tail headdresses, as well as eagle-bone spreaders (a practical adornment worn with a deer-tail headdress). Red Corn was known to work in multiple painting styles concurrently throughout his artistic career, including Flatstyle and Western realism, providing a range of visual narratives connecting audiences to collective histories.

“Jim Red Corn had a deep love and appreciation for the Osage people, and a desire to share the vibrant dimension of Osage history through his paintings, silk screens, poetry, songs, and stories. Red Corn spent his life working through concepts, ideas, and challenges inherent in representing the powerful story of the Osage in the fine arts medium.”

—Marla Redcorn, curator of Osage Nation Museum (Pawhuska, Oklahoma), and only daughter of Jim Red Corn

Red Corn attended the University of Oklahoma and the University of Arizona, earning a BA from Northeastern State College (now Northeastern State University) in Oklahoma. Red Corn’s artworks were featured in solo exhibitions at the Heard Museum (Phoenix), The Fort (Denver), and the Southern Plains Indian Museum (Anadarko, Oklahoma), among many others. In 1962 Red Corn was honored with the International Award for Design by the Association of Interior Decorators and Designers. He also received various awards for his artwork at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market (1963), the annual American Indian Exposition (1967, 1978), and the Philbrook Museum of Art (1968, 1969). He died on June 27, 1994.

—Jordan Poorman Cocker, Henry Luce Foundation Curatorial Scholar for Indigenous Painting Collection Research, 2021

This text was developed from an interview with Marla Redcorn by Jordan Poorman Cocker, January 24, 2021

1 Both spellings—Red Corn and Redcorn—are utilized by different generations of the family. The surname is an English translation of the name Hapazhutse.