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Catalog Data

Artist:
George Catlin, born Wilkes-Barre, PA 1796-died Jersey City, NJ 1872  Search this
Sitter:
He Who Breaks The Bushes  Search this
Medium:
oil on canvas
Dimensions:
18 1/2 x 14 in. (47.0 x 35.7 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
1828
Luce Center Label:
Before George Catlin began his extensive travels in the West, he spent time in eastern cities, where he often saw visiting delegations of Native Americans and painted their portraits. Nine members of a Winnebago delegation, including He Who Breaks the Bushes and He Who Moistens the Wood, sat for him in Washington, D.C., in 1828. Three years later, also in the capital, the artist painted Menominee and Seneca delegations, including a portrait of the Menominee Másh-kee-wet, whom the artist called in his 1848 Catalogue, a “great beau, or dandy.” In the late 1820s, Catlin was still a conventional portrait painter who was looking for, as he later wrote, “some branch or enterprise of the art, on which to devote a whole life-time of enthusiasm,” and he found his “enterprise” in the delegations of Indians who came east. He thought them “arrayed and equipped in all their classic beauty . . . exactly for the painter’s palette!” (Catlin, Letters and Notes , vol. 1, no. 1, 1841; reprint 1973)
Topic:
Portrait male  Search this
Ethnic\Indian\Winnebago  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
Object number:
1985.66.216
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1985.66.216