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Hee-oh'ks-te-kin, Rabbit's Skin Leggings by George Catlin / American Art
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Hee-oh'ks-te-kin, Rabbit's Skin Leggings

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. 1985.66.145 Not currently on view



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George Catlin probably painted this portrait of Hee-oh’ks-te-kin in St. Louis, or aboard the steamboat Yellowstone, in 1832. The dignified bearing of the young men and the attention to detail in the elaborately beaded tunics and beaded and feathered hair reflect Catlin’s regard for his subjects. Native Americans, he wrote, were “the finest models in all Nature, unmasked and moving in all their grace and beauty.” Catlin's faithful effort to document the life of these peoples in the early nineteenth century captures those impressive cultures as they were before their world was shattered. (Catlin’s Indian Gallery, SAAM online exhibition; Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)

Keywords

Dress - ethnic - Indian dress

Ethnic - Indian - Nez Perce

Portrait male - Rabbit's Skin Leggings - bust

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added