George Catlin Galleries
Catlin was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Following a brief career as a lawyer, he produced two major collections of paintings of American Indians and published a series of books chronicling his travels among the native peoples of North, Central and South America. Claiming his interest in America??s 'vanishing race' was sparked by a visiting American Indian delegation in Philadelphia, he set out to record the appearance and customs of America??s native people.
Catlin began his journey in 1830 when he accompanied General William Clark on a diplomatic mission up the Mississippi River into Native American territory. St. Louis became Catlin??s base of operations for five trips he took between 1830 and 1836, eventually visiting fifty tribes. Two years later he ascended the Missouri River over 3000 km to Ft Union, where he spent several weeks among indigenous people still relatively untouched by European civilization. He visited eighteen tribes, including the Pawnee, Omaha, and Ponca in the south and the Mandan, Cheyenne, Crow, Assiniboine, and Blackfeet to the north. There, at the edge of the frontier, he produced the most vivid and penetrating portraits of his career. Later trips along the Arkansas, Red and Mississippi rivers as well as visits to Florida and the Great Lakes resulted in over 500 paintings and a substantial collection of artifacts.
When Catlin returned east in 1838, he assembled these paintings and numerous artifacts into his Indian Gallery and began delivering public lectures which drew on his personal recollections of life among the American Indians. Catlin traveled with his Indian Gallery to major cities such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and New York. He hung his paintings ??salon style????side by side and one above another??to great effect. Visitors identified each painting by the number on the frame as listed in Catlin??s catalogue. Soon afterwards he began a lifelong effort to sell his collection to the U.S. government. The touring Indian Gallery did not attract the paying public Catlin needed to stay financially sound, and Congress rejected his initial petition to purchase the works, so in 1839 Catlin took his collection across the Atlantic for a tour of European capitals.
Catlin the showman and entrepreneur initially attracted crowds to his Indian Gallery in London, Brussels, and Paris. The French critic Charles Baudelaire remarked on Catlin??s paintings, ??M. Catlin has captured the proud, free character and noble expression of these splendid fellows in a masterly way.??
Catlin??s dream was to sell his Indian Gallery to the U.S. government so that his life??s work would be preserved intact. His continued attempts to persuade various officials in Washington, D.C. failed. He was forced to sell the original Indian Gallery, now 607 paintings, due to personal debts in 1852. Industrialist Joseph Harrison took possession of the paintings and artifacts, which he stored in a factory in Philadelphia, as security. Catlin spent the last 20 years of his life trying to re-create his collection. This second collection of paintings is known as the "Cartoon Collection" since the works are based on the outlines he drew of the works from the 1830s.
In 1841 Catlin published Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians, in two volumes, with about 300 engravings. Three years later he published 25 plates, entitled Catlin??s North American Indian Portfolio, and, in 1848, Eight Years?? Travels and Residence in Europe. From 1852 to 1857 he traveled through South and Central America and later returned for further exploration in the Far West. The record of these later years is contained in Last Rambles amongst the Indians of the Rocky Mountains and the Andes (1868) and My Life among the Indians (ed. by N. G. Humphreys, 1909). In 1872, Catlin traveled to Washington, D.C. at the invitation of Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian. Until his death later that year in Jersey City, New Jersey, Catlin worked in a studio in the Smithsonian ??Castle.?? Harrison??s widow donated the original Indian Gallery??more than 500 works??to the Smithsonian in 1879.
The nearly complete surviving set of Catlin??s first Indian Gallery painted in the 1830s is now part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection. Some 700 sketches are in the American Museum of Natural History, New York City.
The accuracy of some of Catlin's observations has been questioned. He claimed to be the first white man to see the Minnesota pipestone quarries, and pipestone was named catlinite. Catlin exaggerated various features of the site, and his boastful account of his visit aroused his critics, who disputed his claim of being the first white man to investigate the quarry. Previous recorded white visitors include the Groselliers and Radisson, Father Louis Hennepin, Baron LaHonton and others. Lewis and Clark noted the pipestone quarry in their journals in 1805. Fur trader Philander Prescott had written another account of the area in 1831. Related Paintings of George Catlin :. | Comanche Indians Chasing Buffalo with Lances and Bows | William Clark painting | Buffalo Bull-s Back Fat Oberhauptling des Blutstammes | Five Points | Ah yaw ne tak oar ron |
Related Artists:Hesselius Gustavus
American portrait painter.
He was trained in Sweden as a wood-engraver, gilder and painter. In 1712 he accompanied his brother, a Lutheran pastor, to America, where he settled in Philadelphia, PA. About 1720 he moved to the Annapolis, MD, area, returning before 1730 to Philadelphia, where he lived until his death. He was one of the first European-trained painters to settle permanently in America and introduced a greater technical skill and increased realism into Colonial painting. His painterly, atmospheric style, which derived from European Baroque, contrasted with the more linear technique of American-born painters. During most of his career he was the leading painter of the Middle Colonies. In addition to mythological scenes, altarpieces and portraits of prominent individuals, Hesselius undertook utilitarian work that included painting the country seat at Springettsbury of Thomas Penn (1702-75) and the interior of the Pennsylvania State House, as well as flower-boxes, BICCI, Nero di
Italian Early Renaissance Painter, 1419-1491Daniel Chester French
American Neoclassical Sculptor, 1850-1931.was an American sculptor. His best-known work is the sculpture of a seated Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. French was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, to Henry Flagg French, a lawyer, Assistant US Treasury Secretary and author of a book that described the French drain. Daniel Chester French was a neighbor and friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the Alcott family. His decision to pursue sculpting was influenced by Louisa May Alcott's sister May Alcott. After a year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, French worked on his father's farm. While visiting relatives in Brooklyn, New York City, he spent a month in the studio of John Quincy Adams Ward, then began to work on commissions, and at the age of twenty-three received from the town of Concord, Massachusetts, an order for his well-known statue The Minute Man, which was unveiled April 19, 1875 on the centenary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Previously French had gone to Florence, Italy, where he spent a year working with sculptor Thomas Ball. In 1917, he designed the Pulitzer Prize gold medal presented to laureates. In collaboration with Edward Clark Potter he modelled the George Washington statue, presented to France by the Daughters of the American Revolution; the General Grant in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, and the General Joseph Hooker statue in Boston. In 1893, French was a founding member of the National Sculpture Society, and he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. French also became a member of the National Academy of Design (1901), the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Sculpture Society, the Architectural League, and the Accademia di San Luca, of Rome. French was one of many sculptors who frequently employed Audrey Munson as a model.