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Theodore Burr Catlin, in Indian Costume

1840-1841 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 50 1/8 x 40 in. (127.3 x 101.7 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.386,324 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 2B


Luce Center Label

George Catlin finished his travels through the American West in 1836, and by December 1839 had set sail for England. He planned to exhibit the Indian Gallery in hopes of attracting a wealthy buyer for his collection, and his works appeared in London’s Egyptian Hall in 1840. Over time, he expanded the gallery to include actors, who wore costumes from Catlin’s own collection and performed tableaux vivants---staged reenactments of Indian songs, dances, and war scenes. This portrait shows Catlin’s nephew Theodore Burr Catlin dressed for a performance.

Keywords

Dress - ethnic - Indian dress

Portrait male - Catlin, Theodore Burr

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas