National Portrait Gallery George Catlin: American Indian Portraits
George Catlin: American Indian Portraits

7th Mar - 23rd Jun 2013

During the 1830s Pennsylvanian-born artist George Catlin (1796-1872) made five trips to the western United States to document the Native American peoples and their way of life. The resulting portraits have become one of the most extensive, evocative and important records of indigenous peoples ever made.
 
Catlin was also an entrepreneur and a showman and, inspired by his encounters, he created an ‘Indian Gallery’ that toured America and Europe during the next ten years. This exhibition of over fifty portraits will be the first time that they have been seen together outside America since returning there in the 1850s. They will be displayed to suggest the sense of spectacle created by Catlin and demonstrate how he constructed a particular image of American Indians in the minds of his audience.