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Exhibition Press Kits

George Catlin in the Classroom
Smithsonian American Art Museum Launching Education Web Site

Media only:
Laura Baptiste (202) 275-1595
Amy Mannarino (202) 275-1592

Public only: (202) 357-2700

Web site:

Education Web site:

"Campfire Stories with George Catlin: An Encounter of Two Cultures" is a richly layered educational Web site that will be available for the 2002–2003 academic year as a resource for teachers and students, grades 5–12. The museum's site includes virtual campfire discussions, moderated by naturalist and writer Peter Matthiessen, that incorporate George Catlin's journals, commentary from Native Americans, primary source materials and activities for students. Works by Catlin in the museum's collection, including his sketchbook, will be featured on the site.

Prominent scholars, writers and leaders participating in this multimedia Web site include:

Alyce Spotted Bear (Mandan/Nu eta and Hidatsa/Nuxbahga), leader in tribal government and former chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara)

Elizabeth Broun, director, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Emery Battis as the voice of George Catlin, actor and 2002 Helen Hayes Award winner

George P. Horse Capture (Gros Ventre/A'aninin), deputy assistant director for cultural resources, Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian

William Least Heat-Moon (Osage/Wa-zha-zhe I-e), writer

Wes Jackson, president, The Land Institute, Salina, Kan.

Wilma Mankiller (Cherokee), advocate and former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation

Peter Matthiessen, naturalist and writer

Richard Murray, art historian, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Peter Nabokov, anthropologist, University of California, Los Angeles

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Flathead Salish), artist

W. Richard West (Southern Cheyenne), director, Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian

National Standards:
The campfire stories and activities address history standards developed by the National Center for History in the Schools, geography standards developed by the Geography Education Standards Project, visual arts standards developed by the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, English language arts standards developed by the National Council of Teachers of English and science education standards developed by the National Academies of Science.


School Tours:

Students can tour the exhibition "George Catlin and His Indian Gallery" in Washington, D.C. in small docent-led groups that encourage active participation. This extraordinary field trip is a perfect way to augment classroom studies and use of the Web site. Resource packets will be available for the fall.


For information on the Web site, resource packets or to schedule school tours, call (202) 275-1693.


The Smithsonian American Art Museum gratefully acknowledges the generous support provided for the exhibition, publication, Web site, multimedia and education programs provided by The Anschutz Foundation, Joan and Bert Berkley, Helen and Peter Bing, Ann and Tom Cousins, Shelby and Frederick Gans, Thelma and Melvin Lenkin, Paula and Peter Lunder, Betty and Whitney MacMillan, Judith and Charles Moore, Barbro and Bernard Osher, Dinah Seiver, Margaret and Terry Stent, Turner Foundation Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, Smithsonian Research Resources Program, Smithsonian Special Exhibitions Fund and Smithsonian Women's Committee.

The Museum especially thanks colleagues at the National Museum of the American Indian for their close collaboration and assistance throughout the preparation of "George Catlin and His Indian Gallery."

Special thanks to the Catlin teacher advisory council, made-up of award-winning teachers from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area school districts, for their contributions and guidance in developing this Web site.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum collection began with gifts of art donated to the federal government in 1829 and has evolved into the world's most important American art holdings with approximately 39,000 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, photographs, folk art and contemporary crafts. For information, call (202) 357-2700.