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George Catlin, born Wilkes-Barre, PA 1796-died Jersey City, NJ 1872  Search this
oil on canvas
19 1/2 x 27 1/2 in. (49.6 x 70.0 cm)
Luce Center Label:
In the summer of 1836, George Catlin made his final journey to the West, to visit the sacred Pipestone Quarry in present-day Minnesota, where Plains Indians harvested the red steatite to make their pipe bowls. He journeyed west by steamer from New York through Sault Ste. Marie and Green Bay, paddling down the Wisconsin River, where he sketched this image of Winnebago Indians hunting ducks. Although familiar with the West’s stunning landscape since beginning his travels in 1830, Catlin found the country’s beauty---and his enthusiasm for it---inexhaustible. He later described the Wisconsin River as what “the French most appropriately denominate ‘La belle riviere,’ [it] may certainly vie with any other on the Continent . . . for its beautifully skirted banks and prairie bluffs. It may justly be said to be equal to the Mississippi . . .” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 54, 1841, reprint 1973; Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)
Figure group\male  Search this
Western  Search this
Animal\bird\duck  Search this
Occupation\hunter  Search this
Ethnic\Indian\Winnebago  Search this
Landscape\river\Wisconsin River  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
Object number:
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Painting and Sculpture
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum