HOCKADAY MUSEUM of ART
Gateway to Montana's Artistic Legacy
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William Standing (1904 - 1951)
Fire Bear, son of Standing Rattle, was born on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in 1904. Named William Standing, he went to the University of Oklahoma under the guidance of Oscar Jacobson and graduated from the Haskell Institute in Kansas in 1924. He worked as an interior decorator in Kansas, and was both a serious and humorous artist. George Catlin met one of Standing's ancestors, The Light, and painted him wearing buckskins on one half of his painting -- the other half  showing him attired in a top hat, dark blue military uniform, and tight fitting boots. August Knapp of Oswego's "Pioneer Store" obtained art supplies for William and many paintings were actually created there.  Standing  made an auspicious debut at the Great Falls Art Exhibition in 1931, where he sold all his paintings, and secured a number of commissions, despite being completely unknown before then. Standing died on June 27, 1951, killed in an auto accident outside of Zortman, Montana when the car he was driving rolled over three times. A fire in January of 1956 at the home of his widow, Nancy, at Poplar, Montana, destroyed a collection of his pictures.