Louis ShipShee was born Aug.11, 1896 on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation near Mayetta, Kansas. A self taught artist, he became well known among collectors of Native Americanart for his portraits of noted figures, past and present.
His most famous works were of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce and Chief Red Cloud of the Oglala Sioux, both done on sheepskin. ShipShee also painted works on deer and elk skins as well as velvet, canvas and panel.
Louis ShipShee moved from job to job, wanting to see what he could of the world. He served in the US Army in World War l, stationed in Siberia. In the 1930s he worked as an instructorof interior decorating at Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence, Kansas, where he also gave art lessons. His skill in interior designproved successful in both Oklahoma and California.
He chose to use Oil and Acryllic paint for his painting. ShipShee is named in Jeanne Snodgrass' book "American Indian Painters" (1968), J.J. Brody's "Indian Painters and White Patrons" (1971) and Patrick Lester's "The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters" (1995). His work is in the permanent collection of the Heritage Center Incorporated Collection at the Red Cloud Indian School and the Southeast Museum of the American Indian, in Marathon, Florida (now housed in the Denver Museum of Natural History).
ShipShee married and returned to Topeka, Kansas in the early 1950s. Proud of his heritage, he acquired a collection of Native American artifacts, ften trading his own paintings. He died in Topeka on June 17, 1975, and is buried in the ShipShee Resrvation Cemetary on land his father had set aside foor that purpose.