George Catlin and His Indian Gallery

February 26, 2005 – September 5, 2005

National Museum of the American Indian George Gustav Heye Center
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
One Bowling Green
New York, NY

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House

This exhibition of George Catlin's celebrated depictions of the Native people of the American Plains comprises more than 100 portraits, landscapes, and scenes of tribal life. It also includes Native American artifacts collected by the artist that have not been shown with the paintings in more than a century. Determined to record the "manners and customs" of Native Americans, Catlin (1796-1872), a lawyer turned painter, traveled thousands of miles from 1830 to 1836 following the trail of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Catlin visited 50 tribes living west of the Mississippi River from present day North Dakota to Oklahoma. Later, the artist assembled his paintings and collected objects into a traveling show that toured major American and European cities.