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Wichita Lodge, Thatched with Prairie Grass

1834-1835 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 24 x 29 in. (60.9 x 73.7 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.492 Not currently on view

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George Catlin carefullt noted the communities he found while accompanying a military expedition into Indian Territory in today’s Oklahoma. “We found here a very numerous village, containing some five or six hundred wigwams, all made of long prairie grass, thatched over poles which are fastened in the ground and bent in at the top.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 43, 1841; reprint 1973)


Architecture Exterior - domestic - hut

Ethnic - Indian

Figure group


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added