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Ko-mán-i-kin, Big Wave, an Old and Distinguished Chief

1831 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 21 1/8 x 16 1/2 in. (53.7 x 41.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.228 Not currently on view


Luce Center Label

“The Menomonies. Like the Winnebagoes, are the remnant of a much more numerous and independent tribe, but have been reduced and enervated by the use of whiskey and the ravages of the small-pox, and number at this time, something like three thousand, living chiefly on the banks of Fox River, and the Western shore of Green Bay. They visit Prairie du Chien, where their annuities are paid them; and they indulge in the bane [of alcohol].” George Catlin probably painted this work in Washington in1831. (Catlin, Letters and Notes , vol. 2, no. 52, 1841; reprint 1973)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Menominee

Portrait male - Big Wave

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added