Published on January 11, 2013 by Amy
Andrew Standing Soldier received his primary education from the Pine Ridge Boarding School.
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Standing Soldier, like so many Native American artists, received very little formal art training. His painting style developed when traditional ledger art was popular, and Euro-American easel painting was emerging.
In the 1930s, Standing Soldier studied under Olaf Nordmark, a federal artist-in-residence in Pine Ridge. At age 22, he won a major prize at the 1939 World’s Fair in San Francisco for a watercolor submitted to the United States Pavilion. He did much of his work as the result of commissions, including illustrating several primers for Native American children, sponsored by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
His own style was well executed, subdued and simplified; yet in proper perspective, it was suggestive of the unusual land formations on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He succeeded in creating recognizable, coherent backgrounds and authentically portrayed human subjects.
In 1961, he and his family moved to the reservation border town of Gordon, Nebraska. Here, he found a patron in Douglas Borman, a local auto dealer. Borman allowed him to paint in the auto showroom and proceeded to collect a significant body of his work. Many regional people collected his work, including the owners of the well-known Wall Drug at Wall, South Dakota.