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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

Jack Hokeah in Anadarko at the American Indian Exposition, 1944
(19261.6.A, Pierre Tartoue Collection, OHS).

HOKEAH, JACK (ca. 1902–1969).

A member of the illustrious group of Kiowa artists who became nationally and internationally famous while studying painting at the University of Oklahoma in the late 1920s, Jack Hokeah was born in western Oklahoma circa 1902. Orphaned in infancy, he was raised by his grandmother. One of his grandfathers was White Horse. Hokeah attended St. Patrick's Mission School near Anadarko. Kiowa Field Matron Susie Peters encouraged several young Kiowas in their art endeavors, and Hokeah joined them to attend the University of Oklahoma and study painting under the tutelage of professors Edith Mahier and Oscar B. Jacobson.

Hokeah's subjects were informed by his southern plains heritage and include dancing and other ceremonial occasions. His murals are found in Santa Fe at the U.S. Indian School and at the St. Patrick Isidore Ricklin Memorial Chapel, now located at the Southern Plains Indian Museum in Anadarko, Oklahoma. For a brief period he was on the New York stage and worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 1966 he received the Certificate of Appreciation from the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, but he painted infrequently in his later years. His work is held in the collections of the Gilcrease Museum, the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Cleveland Art Museum, and the Denver Art Museum, among others. Hokeah died on December 14, 1969, at Fort Cobb, Oklahoma.

Mary Jo Watson


"Jack Hokeah, Kiowa," Oscar Jacobson Collection, Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma, Norman.

Kiowa Murals: An Exhibition, June 16–July 18, 1991 [Exhibit Brochure] (Anadarko, Okla.: Southern Plains Indians Museum and Craft Center, 1991).

Jeanne O. Snodgrass, American Indian Painters: A Biographical Directory (New York: The Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, 1968).


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Mary Jo Watson, “Hokeah, Jack,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=HO009.

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