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Wife of Kee-o-kúk

1835 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. 1985.66.5 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, East Wing

Luce Center Label

“This woman was the favourite one, (I think) of seven whom he had living, (apparently quite comfortably and peaceably,) in his wigwam, where General Street and I visited him in his village on the Des Moines river. And, although she was the oldest of the ‘lot,’ she seemed to be the favourite one on this occasion---the only one that could be painted; on account, I believe, of her being the mother of his favourite son. Her dress, which was of civilized stuffs, was fashioned and ornamented by herself, and was truly a most splendid affair; the upper part of it being almost literally covered with silver brooches.” Catlin painted this portrait at a Sac and Fox village in 1835. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 56, 1841; reprint 1973)


Dress - ethnic - Indian dress

Ethnic - Indian - Sauk and Fox

Ethnic - Indian - Sauk and Fox

Portrait female - Keokuk, Wife of

Portrait female - Keokuk, Wife of - full length


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added