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Magnificent Clay Bluffs, 1800 Miles above St. Louis

1832 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 11 1/8 x 14 1/2 in. (28.4 x 36.7 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.370 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 2B

Luce Center Label

George Catlin was captivated by the landscape along the Missouri River, which was so different from his native Pennsylvania. He described this view of the naturally formed “domes” and “towers” as “one of the most grand and beautiful scenes of the kind to be met with in this country.” He supposed that the black line above the water was a vein of coal. (Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)


Landscape - mountain

Landscape - river



paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added