Gilcrease Museum is temporarily closed for construction.

Get the Full Story

Indian Maidens on Horseback / Virginia Stroud


Indian Maidens on Horseback depicts an intergenerational group of women and one small girl traveling across the prairie. The earth in Oklahoma is red, and the red ocher tracks beneath the horses’ hooves let us know that this party of Kiowa or Comanche women is traversing the Plains of Oklahoma. Here, artist Virginia Stroud (Cherokee [United Keetoowah Band], Muscogee) not only combines ledger art and Flatstyle techniques1 but also adapts a range of approaches to these styles. The minimal facial features of the women and girl, for instance, are similar to those found in the figurative styles of both Kiowa ledger art and paintings on hide. This minimal approach is juxtaposed with the high level of detail the artist chose for depicting the dresses, aprons, and blankets. The women’s modest trade-cloth dresses feature bright tartan plaids, stripes, and dainty florals, and they are worn with striped wool blankets, all of which are vividly documented in bold colors and scaled patterns. Several of the riders toward the front of the party are seated on Crow-style saddles with high horns and backs covered in braintanned hides, while other riders sit atop saddle blankets.

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

1 Techniques associated with the early twentieth-century Flatstyle movement include the lack of shading on the figures, horses, and adornments.

You may be interested in...

Indian Maidens on Horseback
Virginia Stroud (Artist)
Native American; Cherokee (United Keetoowah Band), Muscogee (Creek)
tempera on layered paper
Landscape; single-sided 1.535-1.545mm white, thick, machine-made paper
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of R.F. and Mary Maxwell, Jr., Fort Worth and Houston, Texas
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
TL1994.71.d; tl1994.71.d; 0227.1808; 40050
Not On View

Our Online Collections site is a work in progress. If you have information about this item that may be of assistance, please contact us.