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George Catlin
Mad Buffalo, Murderer of Two White Men
1834
oil
29 x 24 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.



Mad Buffalo was tried, convicted, and later pardoned for murdering two white men. Painted at Fort Gibson, in present-day Oklahoma, the sitter holds his quiver and bow and wears the typical spiked headdress of the Osage Tribe. Catlin noted that after the pardon, Mad Buffalo lived “in disgrace in his tribe, as one whose life has been forfeited.”