made by Cherokee artists Lena Blackbird and Valerie Blea are
part of the new "Titan of the West: The Adams Collection of
Western and Native American Art" exhibition at the Eiteljorg
Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis.
The show opens Nov. 12. Blackbird's basket, right, is titled
"Autumn Sunset" and is made with commercial reed, cornhusk
and hide, while Blea's basket is made from sweet grass and
waxed linen cord. COURTESY
paintings and Native American artifacts collected by former
NFL Tennessee Titans owner Kenneth S. "Bud" Adams go on exhibit
Nov. 12 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western
Art in Indianapolis. The "Titan of the West: The Adams Collection
of Western and Native American Art" exhibition includes items
from a multimillion-dollar collection bequeathed by Adams
to the Eiteljorg Museum when he died in 2013. COURTESY
Indianapolis, IN Western paintings and Native American
artifacts collected by former NFL Tennessee Titans owner Kenneth
S. "Bud" Adams go on exhibit Nov. 12 at the Eiteljorg Museum of
American Indians and Western Art.
The "Titan of the West: The Adams Collection of Western and
Native American Art" exhibition includes items from a multimillion-dollar
collection bequeathed by Adams to the museum when he died in 2013
at age 90. It is one of the largest and most historically important
bequests the museum ever has received.
Visitors will see paintings by Frederic Remington, Charles Russell,
Thomas Moran and other artists who shaped the image of the Old West.
They also will see Native American artifacts, including beaded and
quilled clothing from Plains tribes, pottery and weavings from the
Southwest, Cherokee basketry and a variety of horse gear, smoking
pipes and moccasins all gifted to the museum by the late Adams in
"Bud Adams and his wife Nancy Adams assembled an impressive
personal art collection at their Houston home and business inspired
by Bud's dual heritage as an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation
and descendant of pioneers. While football fans knew Bud Adams as
the owner of the Tennessee Titans, we at the Eiteljorg Museum also
came to know him as a tremendous enthusiast for the history of the
West. The Adams' collection is one of national importance, and we
were thunderstruck with gratitude when Bud entrusted this collection
to the Eiteljorg for the public's enjoyment and appreciation," said
Eiteljorg Museum President and CEO John Vanausdall.
A wealthy Houston businessman and rancher, Adams was prominent
in the oil and gas industry as CEO of Adams Resources & Energy.
Adams also was a central figure in the history of modern professional
football. He was co-founder of the American Football League, which
later merged with the NFL, and he was owner of the former Houston
Oilers franchise that later became the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.
Many direct ancestors of Adams were among the Cherokee forced
to leave Tennessee on the Trail of Tears. The Tiana Rogers family
traveled with a party that took 189 days to reach Indian Territory
(in what is now Oklahoma) in 1839. In 1841, daughter Martha married
Hilliard Fields. She was Bud Adams' great-great-grandmother. W.W.
"Bill" Keeler was the brother of Adams' mother and was president
of Phillips Petroleum. Keeler became principal chief of the CN first
appointed by President Harry Truman and holding the office until
Adams was a supporter of the Cherokee Heritage Center in Park
Hill, Oklahoma, and in 2000 received "the highest honor awarded
by the Cherokee National Historical Society for his support and
dedication to the preservation and promotion of Cherokee culture."
Curators and collection experts at the Eiteljorg have spent
nearly three years preparing for the display of 60 paintings and
nearly 90 Native American artifacts Adams collected, which together
will fill an exhibition room. A full-color 300-page book authored
by the curatorial staff accompanies the exhibition.
"The Eiteljorg Museum is one of the premier museums of Native
American artifacts and Western art in North America, and it is appropriate
that these priceless treasures will be housed at the Eiteljorg permanently,"
said Amy Adams Strunk, daughter of Bud Adams and controlling owner
of the Tennessee Titans. "This collection was very special to my
father, and our family hopes that those who view these items on
display will walk away with the same sense of wonder and appreciation
for the culture and heritage that these unique artifacts and works
of art represent."
The "Titan of the West" exhibition continues through Feb. 5
and is included with regular museum admission.