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The Tower, 1100 Miles above St. Louis

1832 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 11 1/4 x 14 3/8 in. (28.5 x 36.6 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.378 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

George Catlin described this scene as “a high and remarkable clay bluff, rising to the height of some hundreds of feet from the water, and having in distance, the castellated appearance of a fortification.” He painted this image in 1832 while on a lengthy voyage northwest on the Missouri River. Every bluff on the Upper Missouri reminded Catlin, a true student of the picturesque, of a castle, turret, or tower. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 32, 1841, reprint 1973; Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)


Landscape - mountain



paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added