Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chief Johnny Big Tree

Cover by George Lois, March 1964

Some old American nickels found at a swap meet in Lambertsville NJ a year and a half ago, those and a handful of Mercury dimes, were a surprise bit of inspiration for the Bonnie and Clyde collection from last Fall and now I've used some of the nickels again for our new money clips. With a picture of a grazing buffalo on the "tails" side and a portrait of a Native American Chief on "heads", not Geronimo, not Sitting Bull but Chief Johnny Big Tree it turns out.

the new chief johnny big tree money clip.

I had tried to find out last year who it was but I guess I didn't try hard enough. But then on an impromptu visit, we George Lois' early Esquire Magazine covers at the Museum of Modern Art over the weekend, and so found out in an unlikely place, from one of the covers, that the man who sat for the portrait on that beautiful nickel, was indeed Chief Johnny Big Tree.

I've changed the name of our new money clip in his honor and on this momentous occasion of discovery.

1 comment:

lazysundae said...

can you imagine, i've lived in nyc for over 5 years and last night was the first time i've been to the moma! i never knew what i was missing. they have great stuff in there.