Scope and Contents
Reflecting the professional activity of Solomon McCombs, Creek Indian artist, and promoter of his people's culture, these papers include correspondence, lectures, unpublished writings, photographs, and various other items collected by the artist.
The bulk of the correspondence consists of two categories of incoming letters pertaining to McCombs' artistic activities: 1) those referring to exhibitions, one-man shows, awards and prizes; 2) correspondence with fellow artists, such as Acee Bluee Eagle (maintained over a period of seven years, 1952-1958), Fred Beaver, Robert Mulky, and Joan Hill. Amply referred to, starting in 1948, are the annual exhibitions at the Philbrook Art Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in which McCombs regularly participated. A substantial portion of the letters written during the 1954-1955 period refers to the artist's Asian and African tour, sponsored by the U.S. State Department and devoted to the presentation of the American Indian contribution to the development of hte United States and its culture. Part of the correspondence related to his career as an illustrator, architectural draftsman, cartographer and audio-visual officer for the General Service Administration and the State Department. Some letters document his activities as a founder and President of American Indian and Eskimo Cultural Foundation. Included are also letters from prominent personalities, such as Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon.
The lectures on American Indian art, which are part of the collection, were presented on various occasions in the United States and abroad. One speech, which he entitled "My report to the Creeks," describes his experiences and observations abroad.
Among the subject files assembled by Solomon McCombs there is one on the Exhibitions at St. John's Church which contains material on the artist, his wife Margarita Sauer McCombs, and Anne T. Stinson who jointly exhibited there.
The photographs were taken at the Contemporary American Indian Art Exhibit sponsored by Arizona State University, the University of South Dakota and the University of Utah. Among the different items collected by S. McCombs, from stamps to all kinds of cards, there is a geneaology of the McIntosh family and a catalog list of an Exhibit of Oklahoma Indian Paintings during the 1940-1941 season in which are listed paintings by Solomon McCombs and Acee Blue Eagle.
There is very little on his private life or his career prior to coming to Washington D.C., and nothing on his childhood or education. Nor is there any reference made to his published works.
The National Anthropological Archives has a few of Solomon McCombs' works in its Collection of Tradtional and Contemporary American Indian Art.