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Mi-néek-ee-súnk-te-ka, Mink, a Beautiful Girl

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. 1985.66.133 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

According to George Catlin, Mink posed in a “mountain-sheep skin dress, ornamented with porcupine-quills, beads, and elk's teeth.” He described the Mandans as “people whose complexions appear as light as half breeds; and amongst the women particularly, there are many whose skins are almost white, with the most pleasing symmetry and proportion of features; with hazel, with grey, and with blue eyes,---with mildness and sweetness of expression, and excessive modesty of demeanour, which render them exceedingly pleasing and beautiful.” Catlin painted the girl’s portrait at a Mandan village in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 13, 1841, reprint 1973, and 1848 Catalogue, Catlin’s Indian Gallery, SAAM online exhibition)


Ethnic - Indian - Mandan

Portrait female - Mink - waist length


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added