The Briscoe Offers a Rare Look at George Catlin’s 'North American Indian Portfolio'

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GEORGE CATLIN // BRISCOE WESTERN ART MUSEUM
  • George Catlin // Briscoe Western Art Museum
While the rest of 19th-century Americans battled conflicting emotions of awe and fear toward the Native American populations whose lands they were stealing, George Catlin became the first American to depict the indigenous
GEORGE CATLIN // BRISCOE WESTERN ART MUSEUM
  • George Catlin // Briscoe Western Art Museum
 tribes. The author and painter lived among the Mandan, Sioux, Blackfeet, Crow and other tribes in the summer months between 1832 and 1837, painting and etching their likenesses onsite, applying oils to his works later in his home over the winter. To the hesitant American populations east of the Mississippi, Catlin’s works were a way to understand the “savage” community while maintaining their precipitous ideas of superiority. Catlin’s catalog of works included a projected 600 paintings, some of which were lost after Catlin suffered a financial crisis in 1952. This summer, the Briscoe unveils a rare exhibition of George Catlin’s “North American Indian Portfolio,” featuring 31 hand-painted color plates that illustrate the culture, dress and lifestyle of these Native tribes. This portfolio stands as one of only three sets of Catlin’s paintings still in existence. On view from June to September, the historic exhibition presents a reconnection to the early American frontier — an appreciation of the beauty of Native American culture, and a commemoration of their suffering and dwindling populations. $8-$10, June 23-September 4, on view 10am-5pm Wed-Sun, 10am-9pm Tue, Briscoe Western Art Museum, 210 W. Market St., (210) 299-4499, briscoemuseum.org.
GEORGE CATLIN // BRISCOE WESTERN ART MUSEUM
  • George Catlin // Briscoe Western Art Museum

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