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Scalp Dance, Sioux

1845-1848 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 26 1/4 x 32 1/2 in. (66.6 x 82.7 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.438B Not currently on view

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While he was in Europe, George Catlin received a commission to paint fifteen large canvases from King Louis Philippe of France, who had spent two years in the United States in the late 1790s. Inspired, perhaps, by the art he saw in French museums, Catlin produced the most carefully detailed and highly finished works of his career. Here, he turned a rough sketch from Fort Pierre in 1832 into a full-blown and dramatically lit spectacle.


Ceremony - dance - Scalp Dance

Ceremony - Indian

Ethnic - Indian - Sioux

Figure group - male



paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added