Gilcrease Museum is temporarily closed for construction.

Get the Full Story

Chief Iron Tail / Alexander Phimister Proctor


This is a reference image scanned from an older transparency.

Gallery Label

Chief Iron Tail fought in the battle of Little Big Horn and later became an international celebrity, star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and model for the 1913 buffalo nickel by James Earle Fraser. Proctor made a bust based on the study shown here. This lost-wax cast indicates the use of an Italian-style poured core. Inside the sculpture are drips and bubbles preserved in bronze that were initially caused when the molten wax was rolled around inside of the mold to coat the surface. After the wax cooled the liquid plaster-like core material was poured inside to make a perfect impression of the drips of wax. Once the core became hard the mold was heated to melt out the wax and bronze metal then took its place. Compare this cast to Proctor's sculptures of Aims Back (0826.77, 0826.78) and Chief Weasel Head (0826.75, 0826.76).

From the exhibition:Frontier to Foundry: the Making of Small Bronze Sculpture in the Gilcrease Collection, December 2014 - March 2015.
Ann Boulton Young, Associate Conservator for the Gilcrease Museum, 2014.

You may be interested in...

Chief Iron Tail
Alexander Phimister Proctor (Artist)
Roman Bronze Works (Foundry)
Dr. Philip G. Cole (Collection)
modeled 1914; lost-wax cast possibly between 1914 and 1917
lost-wax cast in bronze
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Dr. Philip Cole Collection, Gift of Thomas Gilcrease Foundation
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
0826.74; Cast #2; 15102
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.