Chiefs of the Crow Tribe and Employees from the Reservation by Stevan Kissel
Known primarily as an Abstract Modernist painter of the mid-century period (50's to 60's), Californian Stevan Kissel's realist works crackle with the energy of the twentieth century ferment of art. This group portrait, infused with the muscle and nerve of Cubism and the electricity of pointillism, responds to the new photo-realism in the air. A very exciting painting. The palette may be subdued but its energy is palpable. As is the zeitgest of the 60's.
Oil on canvas mounted on board. Measures 24" x 36".
This also happens to be a very exact rendering of an 1880 photograph of a delegation of important chiefs of the Crow Tribe, posed alongside employees of the reservation sub-agency in Montana. These men are from left to right, Old Crow, Medicine Crow, Long Elk, the great and revered Plenty Coups, and Pretty Eagle. Behind them, on the left, is a certain A.M. Quivey, whose fascinating obituary we append, along with the photograph. It offers surprising insight into Native American and settler relations. Of mutual respect. In war and peace,
THE BILLINGS GAZETTE (Billings, Montana), Saturday, 13 July 1895
Death of A.M. Quivey
The Gentleman Dies at Billings after a Brief Illness
Among the former Bozemanites whom we met at Billings at the time of the Press meeting was A.M. Quivey. The gentleman was apparently in good health and said he had gone back to his old trade of blacksmithing at the sub agency for the Crow Indians on Pryor Creek. He also showed us with much pride the document which made him a Crow Indian and said that under its provisions he had taken his allotment of 160 acres of land.
Mr. Quivey was well known to all old timers here where he lived for several years following his trade. Prior to his abandoning civilized life he was always held in high esteem. He had his peculiarities, among which was an absence of neatness, but he was a well educated, well read man, as many a contribution to the COURIER of years ago will testify. The Billings Times of Thursday has the following.
"Last night at midnight Addison M. Quivey died at the Boykin house after an illness of about two weeks. He was kindly attended to the last by his fellow employees from the Crow reservation, Messrs. Kreidler and Steele. A letter from his aged mother who lives in Corvallis, Oregon, was received last night, but too late to be read to her son. The deceased was born in Ohio about 65 years ago and was a cousin of Nelson Story, the Bozeman capitalist, and a warm friendship existed between them.
"Mr. Quivey came west at an early date and took part in much of the frontier fighting and was a favorite scout of General Miles. He was a man of much erudition and ability and had made a particular study of the ancient lore of the Indian tribes with whom he was associated, and contributed several articles on the ethnology to the Smithsonian Institute and the Royal Ethnological Society of London, which latter society complimented him by an honorary membership. He has for many years held the office of deputy United States marshal among the Crows, whose confidence he possessed to a large degree. Careless about money matters, he left no fortune, such as he might have accumulated had he seized the opportunities that presented themselves. Many an old timer will regret to hear of the death of A.M. Quivey."
AVANT COURIER (Bozeman, Montana), Saturday, 13 July 1895, p.3