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Wos-cóm-mun, Busy Man, a Brave

1832 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 29 x 24 in. (73.7 x 60.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.260 Not currently on view


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George Catlin noted that Iowa braves Shooting Cedar and Busy Man (see 1985.66.260) were “distinguished warriors of the tribe.” For their portrait sitting, he remembered that they were “tastefully dressed and equipped, the one with his war-club on his arm, the other with bow and arrows in his hand; both wore around their waists beautiful buffalo robes, and both had turbans made of vari-coloured cotton shawls, purchased of the Fur Traders. Around their necks were necklaces of the bears' claws, and a profusion of beads and wampum. Their ears were profusely strung with beads; and their naked shoulders curiously streaked and daubed with red paint.” Catlin probably painted this image at Fort Leavenworth (in today’s Kansas) in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 34, 1841; reprint 1973)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Iowa

Portrait male - Busy Man

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added