Carvings by Robert Rosebear
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.