Guide to the Acee Blue Eagle papers, 1907-1975
NAA.1973-51
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.1973-51
Creators:
Blue Eagle, Acee, 1907-1959
Dates:
1907-1975
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
673 paintings (visual works)
approximate
30 linear feet
55 document boxes and 8 oversize boxes
Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
Acee Blue Eagle was a Pawnee-Creek artist, poet, dancer, teacher, and celebrity. The papers relate to both Blue Eagle's personal and professional life. Also included are some materials of Blue Eagle's friend Mae Abbott and a collection of art by other Indians.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
This collection reflects the life and work of Acee Blue Eagle, internationally famed Indian artist of Oklahoma. Identified for his brilliant paintings of tribal ceremonies, legend and dance, Blue Eagle's work is represented in numerous private collections and museums both in this country and abroad.
A portion of the papers contains correspondence. Fan mail written by school children to Chief Blue Eagle of the Chief Blue Eagle television program is included. Letters regarding Blue Eagle's participation in Indian festivals and events, art shows and exhibitions, speaking engagements on Indian life and culture are found in the collection. Personal correspondence is included; most frequent correspondents are Devi Dja, Mae Abbott, and Charles E. Pond. There are approximately 100 letters from Devi Dja, approximately 90 to or from Mae Abbott, and approximately 36 from Charles E. Pond. Some letters addressed to these individuals from other friends and acquaintances are also within this collection.
Photographs comprise a large portion of the Blue Eagle collection. Included are not only portraits of the artist himself and photographs of his art work, but a large number of prints of Blue Eagle in full costume and other Indians engaged in tribal ceremonies, identified by tribe, whenever possible. Photographs of Mae Abbott, Devi Dja and the latter's Balinese dance troupe are identified. A file of negatives is arranged in the same subject order as the prints. Newspaper and magazine clippings regarding Blue Eagle's work and activities are also included in the collection. These clippings have not been arranged. In addition, Mae Abbott's recipes and notes for her cookbook, wood blocks, greeting cards and other miscellaneous publications can be found in the collection. These items have been sorted but not arranged.
Within the collection are also over 600 pieces of artwork. A good number are by Blue Eagle while most are by other Native artists. Artists whose are work are represented in the collection include Fred Beaver, Harrison Begay, Archie Blackowl, Woodrow Crumbo, Allan Houser, Ruthe Blalock Jones, Quicy Tahoma, Pablita Verde, and members of the Kiowa Five (Spencer Asah, James Auchiah, Stephen Mopope, Monroe Tsatoke).

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged into six series: 1) Personal; 2) Collections; 3) Artwork; 4) Television; 5) Correspondence; 6) Photographs.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Acee Blue Eagle was an artist, poet, dancer, teacher, and celebrity. Born Alex C. McIntosh in 1907, Blue Eagle attended Indian schools in Anadarko, Nuyaka, and Euchee, Oklahoma, and the Haskell and Chilocco Indian schools. Advanced study came at Bacone Indian College and the University of Oklahoma. At the latter, he studied with Oscar B. Jacobson. Privately he studied with Winold Reiss. Discrepancies exist in the records regarding his early life: born in either Anadarko or Hitchita, Oklahoma; he's cited as both Pawnee-Creek and 5/8 Creek without any Pawnee blood; his mother is either Mattie Odom, the first wife of Solomon McIntosh or Ella Starr, McIntosh's second wife.
A prolific painter who, for the sake of authenticity, carried out research in libraries and museums, Blue Eagle was an outstanding American Indian artist of the 1930s-1950s. His paintings hung in many exhibits, including the Exposition of Indian Tribal Arts, 1932-1933; International Art Exhibition of Sport Subjects at Los Angeles, 1932; Chicago Century of Progress Exposition, 1934; a one-man show at the Young Galleries in Chicago; National Exhibition of Art at the Rockefeller Center in New York, 1936; a one-man show at the Washington, D.C., Arts Club, 1936; Museum of Modern Art, 1941; Northwest Art Exhibition at Spokane, Washington, 1944; a one-man show at the Gilcrease Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1953; An Exposition of American Indian Painters in New York, 1955; and a one-man show at the Philbrook Art Center in Tulsa, 1957. Between 1946 and 1965, over fifty galleries hung his paintings. Some pieces are among the permanent holdings of many institutions.
In 1934, Blue Eagle joined the Work Projects Administration (WPA) Public Works of Art Project, painting murals in public buildings. In 1935 at Oxford University, he participated in a program of the International Federation of Education and lectured on Indian art. A tour of Europe followed. He taught at Bacone Indian College from 1935-1938 where he founded the art program and became Director of Art. He also taught at the University of Kansas extension division in 1949 and Oklahoma State Technical College beginning in 1956. During World War II, he served in the United States Army Air Force; and, following the war, he spent a few years attempting to get into the movies. During 1946-1952, he was married to his second wife, a famous Balinese dancer, Devi Dja, and became involved in her career, an involvement that was briefly reflected in his art. However, Dja and Blue Eagle divorced and Blue Eagle lived with Mae Wadley Abbott for the last years of his life. During the 1950s, he had a television show for children on a Tulsa-Muskogee station. Acee Blue Eagle died on June 18, 1959 of a liver infection.
Sources Consulted
Martindale, Rob. Muskogee Paying Tribute to Blue Eagle. Biographical/Genealogical data, Box 1, Acee Blue Eagle Collection, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
West, Juanita W. 1967. Acee Blue Eagle: A.C. McIntosh. Biographical/Genealogical data, Box 1, Acee Blue Eagle Collection, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
1907
Born August 17, 1907 on the Wichita Reservation, north of Anadarko, Oklahoma
1928
Graduated Chilocco High School
1929-1934
Attended Bacone College, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State Tech
1935
Toured United States and Europe giving lecture-exhibition program, "Life and Character of the American Indian"
1935-1938
Established and headed art department at Bacone College at Muskogee
1936
Exhibited at the National Exhibition of Art, Rockefeller Center, New York
1942-1945
World War II, U.S. Air Force (Army)
1947-49
Free-lance work in New York and Chicago
1951-52
Artist-in-residence at Oklahoma Tech
1950-54
Conducted TV program, Muskogee, Oklahoma Toured U.S. West Coast exhibiting and lecturing about ways to improve TV programs for children
1958
Named Indian-of-the-Year by the American Indian Expostion at Anadarko, Oklahoma
1959
Died June 18, 1959

Administration
Processing Information note
In 2012, the Acee Blue Eagle papers were reorganized into six series; the boxes were renumbered in order to reflect the change in organization, and the oversize boxes were renamed and renumbered. In addition the issues of Asia magazine were removed from the collection, and the document boxes were renumbered in order to reflect this change.
Processed by Bonnie Wheatley, 2007.
Reprocessed by Jacqueline Saavedra, July 2012.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Bonnie Wheatley
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Acee Blue Eagle's private papers and collection of paintings were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Mrs. Mae Abbott of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Digital Content

Bibliography
Bibliography
Blue Eagle, Acee. Echogee the Little Blue Deer. Dallas: Palmco Investment Corporation, 1971.
Blue Eagle, Acee. Oklahoma Indian Painting-Poetry. Tulsa: Acorn Publishing Company, 1959.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use note
Literary property rights to unpublished material in the collection in the National Anthropological Archives has been given to the public.
Conditions Governing Access note
There are no restrictions on access.
Preferred Citation note
Acee Blue Eagle Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Archival Materials note
Other materials relating to Acee Blue Eagle at the National Anthropological Archives include correspondence in the Solomon McCombs papers, 1914-1972, and correspondence with Betty Meilink under Manuscript 2011-20.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Abbott, Mae Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beaver, Fred Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blair, Bettina Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bosin, Francis Blackbear Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Campbell, Walter S. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dale, Edward E. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Debo, Angie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dja, Devi Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Echohawk, Brummett Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fairbanks, Charles Herron, 1913- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Feder, Norman Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Field, Dorothy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gilcrease, Thomas Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Houser, Allan, 1914-1994 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Howe, Oscar, 1915-1983 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jackson, Oscar B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lemos, Pedro de Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marriott, Alice Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Martinez, Julian, -1943 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Martinez, Maria Montoya Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McCombs, Solomon 1913-1980 Creek Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Medicine Crow, Joe Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mirabel, Eva Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Momaday, Al Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pond, Charles E. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rowan, Edward B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shears, Glen E. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sheets, Nan Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sunrise, Riley Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Te Ata Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Whitehorse, Roland N. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Creek Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indian art--North America Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America--Great Plains Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America--Southeast Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pawnee Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland , 20746
Phone: 301.238.1300
naa@si.edu