Numerous school districts in Kansas continued to collect art after the period covered by this exhibition. Four students and an administrator approached Bosin during the 1974-75 school year to create a work for Wichita North High School’s library. Though the school lacked funding, the artist agreed to produce the work gratis. Spirit of North Wind is a tribute to North High School’s position in the city and a complement to the relief sculpture depicting Native Americans on the school’s exterior. Bosin also created a mosaic for the school comissioned by North High’s graduating class of 1962, which included his stepson.  

A self-taught artist who worked in commercial printing, Bosin rose to national prominence after his painting Prairie Fire was published in National Geographic magazine in 1955. His 44-foot-tall sculpture Keeper of the Plains stands near downtown Wichita at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas rivers, a place considered sacred by the region’s first inhabitants. 

Blackbear Bosin
Nermernuh/Ka’igwu (Comanche/Kiowa)
Born 1921, Cyril, Oklahoma
Died 1980, Wichita, Kansas

Spirit of North Wind, 1977
Acrylic on canvas

23 1/2 x 19 in.

Wichita Public Schools, USD 259, North High School

John Steuart Curry
Born 1897, Dunavant, Kansas
Died 1946, Madison, Wisconsin

Sanctuary, 1944

11 3/4 x 15 3/4 in.

Associated American Artists, publisher 

Labette Community College, Parsons

Parsons’ community college, established in 1923, was initially governed by the USD 503 school board. The high school and the junior college shared the building that now serves as the city’s junior high school. Most of the artwork acquired by the school district during the first half of the twentieth century moved to the college in 1965.  

Since then the collection has expanded through donations to the Labette Community College Foundation. The college’s gallery committee makes purchase recommendations. In recent years, works by Thomas Hart Benton, Doel Reed, Peter Hurd, Pete Felton, Stan Herd, and this print by Kansas Regionalist Curry have been added to the collection.  

The historic artwork continues to serve K-12 students along with others in the community. As gallery committee member Mike Brotherton has described, “Different parts of the collection are displayed regularly in Labette CC’s Hendershot Gallery; college and high school art students visit. For many years, pieces from the collection were used in the local ‘Picture Person’ program at elementary schools.” 

Jim Hagan
Born 1927, Westfield, New Jersey
Died 2006, Manhattan, Kansas

Range Riders, 1985
Acrylic on canvas

17 1/2 x 35 1/2 in.

USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden

Hagan, known for his views of the Flint Hills, presents a common scene on township gravel roads—two drivers stopped to share some news. The local school district has a collection of more than seventy works, many of which were acquired after 1950. The artworks are on view in schools throughout the district as well as in the central office. Diane Denison, collection coordinator, says: “Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 takes pride in being able to display the district’s art collection in the school buildings. Doing so opens up the opportunity for discussion and creative inspiration in the classroom.”