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Sac and Fox Sailing in Canoes

1837-1839 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 19 1/2 x 27 5/8 in. (49.6 x 70.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.479 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 2B

Luce Center Label

“I was often amused at their freaks in their canoes, whilst travelling; and I was induced to make a sketch of one which I frequently witnessed, that of sailing with the aid of their blankets, which the men carry; and when the wind is fair, stand in the bow of the canoe and hold by two corners, with the other two under the foot or tied to the leg; while the women sit in the other end of the canoe, and steer it with their paddles.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 56, 1841; reprint 1973)


Architecture Exterior - domestic - teepee

Ethnic - Indian - Sauk and Fox

Ethnic - Indian - Sauk and Fox

Figure group

Landscape - river

Travel - water - canoe



paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added