Pencil Drawing of Laura Cloud Shield Standing Bear (Standingbear) Levering Whirlwind Soldier Woodlock
Pencil drawing depicting Laura Standing Bear (Eugene Standingbear's mother) later in life. Drawing is a head shot portrait depiction of Laura on tracing paper--drwaing lines on both sides. Lines are heavy.
Born in 1906 (died 1980), Eugene Standingbear was the son of Luther Standingbear (1868-1939) and Laura Cloud Shield. An Oglala Sioux, he grew up on the Indian reservation at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. In his youth he traveled with his parents in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and in the Miller Brothers' 101 Ranch Show. He went on to work as a barnstormer, a mechanical engineer with the U.S. Navy in the Puget Sound Naval Area, a miner, cab driver and a musician. He also worked in Hollywood including as a medicine man in "Grizzly Adams." He eventually settled in Roggen/Keensburg, Colorado, where he met the donor's family.
A a self-taught artist, Eugene Standingbear's art was done in reaction to the images he saw of American Indians growing up. According to the artist he was "saddened by the cheap, inaccurate imitations of the Indian as depicted in the movies, in books, in art and on television." In his art Eugene Standingbear portrayed what he believed to be a more accurate depiction of Sioux life. The drawings in this collection include Anglo subjects, American Indians, Asian subjects and personal drawings including the artist's Christmas designs. The work represents not only Standingbear the artist but also the complex identity of the man, living in both the Anglo world and American Indian world. In addition to the drawings in this collection, he also did original paintings and prints.
, From Between Two Worlds: The Life and Art of Eugene Standingbear by Alisa Zahller, 2014:
"Around 1901, Luther Standing Bear married his second wife, Laura Cloud Shield (1872-c. 1955), a fellow Carlisle student. A short time later, their first child Luther Standing Bear Jr. was born. In 1902, Luther Standing Bear took a job as an interpreter, chaperone and performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. The show opened in London in December of 1902. Laura and Luther Jr. not only traveled with Luther, they also performed in the show. A circus-like attraction, the show traveled in the United States and Europe, feeding the public’s fascination for the exotic and the romantic ideas about the disappearing frontier of the American West.
While touring with Buffalo Bill, Luther and Laura Standing Bear’s second child was born, a daughter named Alexandra Pearl Olive Octavia Birmingham England Cody Standing Bear. Born June 7, 1903 in Birmingham, England, her birth made the papers. A day later, she was part of the show—Laura held Alexandra on an Indian cradle while people filed past the side show, dropping money in a box. Eleven months after leaving for Europe to tour with Buffalo Bill, Luther and his family returned to Pine Ridge in the fall of 1903. Sadly both Alexandra and Luther Standing Bear Jr. died the following year. "
Further research indicates that around 1907 (a year after Eugene Standingbear's birth) Luther left his family. After divorcing Luther, Laura married Levi Levering in 1914. Levering was a former Carlise student. The couple moved to Macy Nebraska. In 1937 Laura married Clement Wirlwind Soldier. In 1939 Laura married Lawrence A. Woodlock. Around 1950 Laura applied for a SS number. her application notes that she was born in 1875 in Crawford, Nebraska--her father's name was Cloud Shield and her mother's name One eye
See Between Two Worlds: The Life and Art of Eugene Standingbear for additional information on Laura Standing Bear.
, "In January of 2014, History Colorado received over 300 drawings by Eugene George Standingbear. A gift to Jennifer Okada from the artist in the mid-1970s, the Okada family met Eugene Standingbear in Keenesburg, Colorado in the early 1960s. Jennifer’s parents—Isamu “Sam” and Katsumi “Katsie” Okada—owned a pharmacy across the street from a bar Eugene worked at. Over many years Eugene and the Okada family established a strong bond as reflected in the time Eugene and the Okada family spent together; Eugene’s own artwork which includes images of Japanese culture ; the Okada family’s desire to donate the drawings, recognizing the significance of Eugene’s family in U.S. history; the fact that Eugene named Sam the executor of his estate; and acknowledgement by the Standing Bear family of the strong friendship between Eugene and Sam. The exact reason for the strong bond between Eugene Standingbear and the Okada family is unknown; however, it appears that in part, these families were connected by similar life changing experiences, occurring over generations, and affected by race." From Between Two Worlds: The Life and Art of Eugene Standingbear, Alisa Zahller