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Urban Spirit Gallery
(Formerly Indians on Columbus)
The Finest Collection of Native American Art and Jewelry in NYC

Robert Rosebear

(July 7, 1947 - March 28, 2006)

Kachina by Pernell Laate
Bracelet by Ophelia Garcia
Bowl by Bob Lansing
An American Dollmaker by Lisa Fifield
Vases by Josh Simpson
Pipe by Robert Rosebear
Artist Rafael Aguilera Hernandez
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Carvings by Robert Rosebear

Robert Rosebear. Click for full image We mourn the loss of a great artist and a dear friend. Robert Rosebear passed away on March 28, 2006, after a long battle with diabetes. He leaves behind a legacy of work in the hands of collectors and fine museums around the world. Rosebearís remarkable pipestone carvings showed much more than the well-developed skill of an artistís hand. His range was deeply humorous, surprisingly delicate, and tenderly, profoundly moving.

Robert Rosebear was born Ojibway (Chippewa) on the Red Lake Reservation in Northern Minnesota on July 7, 1947. His family moved to Minneapolis when he was two. At age twenty, Robert interned at the Minneapolis Institute of Art: under Evan Mauer. Working in the vaults of ancient pipes, Robert was deeply inspired by the Hopewell Pipes, which date back 1,500 years.

It was around this time that he decided to become an artist, without knowing what medium he wanted to pursue. He was gifted a chunk of pipestone. Not sure what to do with it, someone suggested that he make a pipe. Evan Mauer, director of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, bought the finished piece. Robert went on to study netsuke carving (a form of Japanese miniature sculpture). Over the years his skill increased, and he became sought after as a pipe-maker and pipestone carver.

Robertís work is proudly displayed by private collectors, dignitaries, and museums around the world, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Chicago Field Museum, the Beijing Art Museum, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Alexander Haig (former Secretary of State), and the King of Sweden.

We will always remember the artist and the man as someone who cherished Mother Earth. He gave us his spirit mixed with the pipestone of his people, the stone that was colored by the blood of his ancestors. May he walk with Great Spirit in peace.

Carvings by Robert Rosebear

Pipe by Robert Rosebear. Click for full image Pipe Bowl
depicting Shaman with Four Bears
(pipestone)
stem not shown
White Buffalo Spirit by Robert Rosebear. Click for full image White Buffalo Spirit
(pipestone)
Intruder by Robert Rosebear. Click for full image Intruder
Part of a series of trickster coyote carvings. Here, the coyote is hiding inside the turtle's shell, waiting to surprise the turtles upon their return. But the father turtle is clever too, and lowers his son carefully, waiting to bop coyote with a silver cattail. Turning the shell over reveals the coyote lying in wait, with opal eyes. Carved from a single piece of pipestone, this carving fits in the palm of your hand.
Playful Otters
Playful otters communicate with turtle, the "Great Spirit Helper". Carved out of a single piece of pipestone with inlaid opals.
Playful Otters by Robert Rosebear. Click for full image
Scolding by Robert Rosebear. Click for full image Scolding
Father Turtle holds his son on his lap and tells him not to bop trickster coyote on the head with a cattail, even though he may deserve it. The carving, including the detailed leaf, is out of a single piece of pipestone; the cattail is silver.
Guarding Life
The turtles are guarding and protecting the unborn spirit, the crystal. Coyote trickster lies in wait, hiding behind the branch. The turtles cautiously peek over the side of the branch, always watching out for trickster coyote. Carved from a single piece of pipestone, with Herkimer diamond quartz crystals.
Guarding Life by Robert Rosebear. Click for full image
Mother Earth by Robert Rosebear. Click for full image Mother Earth - My Eyes are Closed
(in Rosebear's own words)
"The Turtle, the "Great Spirit Helper" in Chippewa mythology, is the animal that assists the creator, is here in the role of storyteller. Trickster, usually in coyote clothes, is never trusted, and is doing what he does best, hiding and listening. The Great Spirit Helper is passing on how Mother Earth, having seen with her own eyes what her children have forgotten, chooses not to open them until her heart feels the love and care of her children for Mother Earth."
Carved in pipestone.
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If you are interested in the work of this artist, or the pieces on this or any other page, please contact us by email for an appointment