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George Catlin’s American Buffalo
October 3, 2014 - January 4, 2015| Free - $5
American artist George Catlin journeyed west five times in the 1830s, traversing the Great Plains where he visited and painted more than 140 American Indian tribes. This exhibition presents 40 original Catlin pantings from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection that show the crucial role of the buffalo in Plains Indian culture. Catlin was among the earliest artists of European descent to travel beyond the Mississippi river to record what he called the “manners and customs” of American Indians, painting scenes and portraits from life. His intention was to document these native cultures before, as he feared, they were irrevocably altered by settlement of the frontier and the mass migrations forced by the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in collaboration with the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
George Catlin, “Crow Lodge of Twenty-five Buffalo Skins,” 1832-1833, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
George Catlin, “Buffalo Bull, Grazing on the Prairie,” 1832-1833, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.