210 N Washington
Comanches , mural, 1942 Oil on canvas 5 x 13 feet 7 inches © James D. Lea
From the time he was a boy, Tom Lea was fascinated with Indian cultures. His father collected Casas Grandes pottery and the family visited Mimbres Hot Springs during the summer. When visiting Santa Fe as a boy, he would go to the Santo Domingo pueblo and see the corn dance or visit the Hopi pueblo at Walpi in Arizona. When attending the Art Institute of Chicago, he longed for home and would study the green bound Bureau of Ethnology reports from the Smithsonian Institution. It was natural, then, for him to paint Comanches for Seymour, Texas. Even though the town was founded by settlers from Oregon and named for a local cowboy, the extraordinary skill of the Comanches as mounted warriors in the region held greater interest for Tom Lea.