Event honors Red Corn as ‘treasure’

Robert Smith

The Water Bird Gallery, located on East 6th Street in Pawhuska, held an open house Friday in honor of Kathryn Red Corn, retired director of the Osage Nation Museum, who has continued to play an active role in the public life of the Osage people.

Water Bird Gallery offered for sale archival quality note cards bearing an image of Red Corn, involved in the traditional craft of ribbon work. The cards were $10 each, and the image was drawn from a 2017 watercolor painting by artist Robin Elliott.

Elliott has passed away since completing the painting, and she and Red Corn never actually met. Elliott painted her watercolor by looking at a photo of Red Corn.

“It is an honor that Robin Elliott wanted to paint this picture,” Red Corn said during brief remarks Friday at the Water Bird Gallery. She expressed sadness that Elliott died before they could meet.

Giving recognition to members of her family who practiced traditional Osage arts and crafts, Red Corn named them and emphasized the importance of each contribution.

“All of them did a little bit of everything with Osage crafts,” she said. Numerous of her family members and friends were present for the open house, and the Water Bird Gallery celebrated her as “an Osage treasure.”

Red Corn retired from her post as director of the Osage Nation Museum just over three years ago, after 17 years of service there. She has remained active in the life of the Nation, providing service on the Osage Minerals Council and on the Pawhuska Indian Village Five-Man Board.

She was very much the life of the party Friday, welcoming newcomers, making introductions and posing for numerous photographs. She playfully asked a photographer if he could “Photoshop” her hair to make it look a little better.