Artist, Collector, Frontiersmen: The Life and Art of George Catlin

Savannah Lisowski Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Peter Wang Butler University
Driven by a fascination with Native American culture George Catlin set out upon his perilous travel west. Inspired by a tail of childhood captivity recounted by his mother sparked his call to duty to record the life of Native Americans along the Lewis and Clark trail. Covering almost 2,000 miles along the Mississippi river he encountered 50 tribes between 1830 and 1836. An explorer, historian, collector, anthropologist, and more did his ego outshine his passion for the Native Americans. What does his self-portrait tell us of the man.

A massing over 600 works of art, each painting with their own unique story, the original Indian Gallery made its debut at the Smithsonian seven years after his death, Documenting his interactions and encounters along his path, which are collected in a book called North American Indians offer us much insight into the mind of George Catlin and his subjects.

What does George believe about them? What kind of people does he depict? Are his depictions accurate? Why would he spend so much time dedicated to them? What are they really like? Did they change overtime? What was his traveling shows like? What were the first effects of Manifest Destiny?

Now journey along with me as we explore the life and works of George Catlin.
Art/Art History
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:30 AM
Lilly Hall 141