About the Artist - James F. Frechette, Jr.

Na:tamowekow-He Helps Someone, People


Jim Frechette with the Great Silvery White BearBorn on the Menominee reservation, James F. Frechette, Jr. grew to young adulthood there, the limits of his world the Menominee Nation. As a child and in his early teens, he knew many of the traditional crafts people in his tribe and drank in the stories, legends, and ancient lore of the Menominee, often at their feet as they retold the traditions in the time immemorial manner. At the same time, he observed the craft life of the elders and from time- to time acquired principles and techniques from them.

After World War II, service in the Marine Corps and later in the civil service of the federal government took him away from home. He returned from time to time, and upon retirement has lived in Rhinelander where he devotes his energies to the art of the Menominee, especially the Little People. The photo on this page shows James F. Frechette with the Great Silvery White Bear. The carving is on permanent display at the College of Menominee Nation College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin.

His characteristic quality is authenticity found in the accurate depiction of the legends, lore, and traditions of his tribe and in the minute details of the figures he carved from Menominee white pine and decorates in acrylic.

Mr. Frechette has been recognized as a significant artist whose work has been purchased and commissioned by museums and collectors, including the National Indian Collection of The Department of Interior, Washington, D.C. He was one of the few Menominee who practiced the traditional methods and who also had knowledge of the Menominee clans.

Frechette signature


The symbol used on all of the pages is the actual Menominee Signature of
James F. Frechette, Jr.

Some of the graphics used on this site were custom designed and drawn by Mr. Frechette.