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Free Public Programs including Lectures, Music and Craft Demonstrations Accompany "George Catlin and His Indian Gallery"

Contact: Laura Baptiste
Media only: (202) 275-1595
Web site:

A wide variety of exciting public programs are planned in conjunction with the new exhibition, "George Catlin and His Indian Gallery," on view from Sept. 6, 2002 through Jan. 19, 2003 at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The most comprehensive display of Catlin's work in more than a century, this exhibition showcases more than 400 paintings and artifacts that record the life and culture of 50 Plains Indians tribes. Catlin, a lawyer turned painter, crisscrossed the frontier from 1830 to 1836 following portions of the Lewis and Clark trail.

Events include lectures, gallery talks, craft demonstrations, concerts and performances. All programs are free and held at the Renwick Gallery unless otherwise noted. For more information about a variety of other programs scheduled in conjunction with this exhibition, call (202) 357-2700 or visit the museum's Web site at


Saturday, Sept. 14 and Sunday, Sept. 15
The Open House offers an opportunity to take a tour with George Catlin, played by local actor Chris Janson (10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sept. 14 and at noon and 1 p.m. on Sept. 15) and features performances by the Thunderbird Theater from Haskell Indian Nations University (11 a.m. on Sept. 14 and 2 p.m. on Sept. 15).

Monday, Sept. 16 at noon
Join the Black Lodge Singers, one of the most popular Pow Wow groups in North America, for this lunchtime performance featuring Native American songs and dance. Cosponsored by the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

Saturday, Oct. 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This day-long program will be at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in the Frances and Armand Hammer Auditorium. Speakers include James Boyles, Philip Deloria, Lisa Strong, Bridget Goodbody, Rayna Green and Kenneth Haltman. A reception and tour of the exhibition immediately follows at the Renwick Gallery. There is a $25 registration fee ($10 for students) and pre-registration is required. For information and reservations, call (202) 275-1489.

Sunday, Oct. 27 at noon
The Native American Music Series debuts with Ulali, a three-woman a cappella group affiliated with the Tuscarora and Apache tribes, performs traditional Native American songs in their own modern style. They have appeared at the Sundance Festival, on National Public Radio, and at Pow Wows around the United States.

Tuesday, Nov. 5 at noon
Mary Youngblood (Aleut and Seminole) plays traditional Native American flute songs and talks to the audience about the songs' traditional meanings. She was flutist of the year in 1998 and 1999 at the Native American Music Awards. Cosponsored by the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

Sunday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.
Eagle Whistles, a drumming and singing group, performs in traditional dress. The members are from the Mandan, Hidatsa, Lakota and Cheyenne tribes.

Sunday, January 5, 2003 at 2 p.m.
The Native American Music Series concludes with flutist Joseph Fire Crow (Northern Cheyenne). He was a Native American Music Award winner in 2001 and has been nominated for a Grammy Award. His music was featured in the Ken Burns documentary "Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery" on PBS.

Sunday, Oct. 6 at noon
Dorothy Brave Eagle (Oglala Lakota) demonstrates quillworking. She is considered one of a handful of top quillworkers in the Northern Plains.

Sunday, Nov. 3 at noon
Vanessa Jennings (Kiowa) demonstrates traditional cradleboard making and beadwork. She has received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts establishing her as a "Living National Treasure."

Sunday, Dec. 1 at noon
Running Deer (Tsalgi and Seneca) demonstrates traditional Native American flute carving techniques. He will play a few songs while he works.

Sunday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m.
Joan Troccoli, director and curator at the Denver Art Museum's Institute of Western American Art, presents "The Curse of George Catlin." Troccoli wrote the "Illustrated Commentary" for the book, George Catlin and His Indian Gallery, that accompanies the exhibition.

Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.
George Horse Capture, deputy assistant director for cultural resources at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, presents "The Presentations: A Cultural Look at the Rest of the Story."

Sunday, Jan. 12, 2003 at 2 p.m.
Christopher Mulvey, professor of English and American Studies at King Alfred's College in England, presents "Ojibwe and Iowa Perspectives on George Catlin's Europe." Mulvey contributed an essay to the book George Catlin and His Indian Gallery.

Join us for three Family Days, each full of special activities and performances featuring Native American music and crafts in the Renwick's Grand Salon. "Meet George Catlin" at 10:30 a.m. when actor Chris Janson re-creates Catlin's frontier experiences. At 11 a.m., enjoy a tour of the exhibition.

Saturday, Oct. 19
Noon – 1:30 p.m. Join Keith Bear (Mandan), a flute player and storyteller

2 p.m. – 5 p.m. The Big Day Family (Crow) will entertain with traditional Native American stories and demonstrations on creating Crow dolls, turkey feather war bonnets, and parfleches, used by Plains Indians to store and transport food and clothing. Make your own parfleche using paper, crayon and colored yarn.

Saturday, Nov. 16
Noon – 2 p.m. Join Eagle Whistles, a five member Native American drumming and singing group, as they perform traditional songs and dances.

2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Join Emil Her Many Horses (Oglala Sioux) from the National Museum of the American Indian for a demonstration of traditional Native American beading techniques and then make a beaded necklace of your own.

Saturday, Jan. 11, 2003
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Jimbo and Kim Cary will play traditional Native American and Western instruments.

2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Storyteller Dovie Thomason (Lakota and Kiowa Apache) weaves together traditional tales of Plains Indians and leads the audience in creating their own Native American stories.

Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.
Join best-selling author William Least Heat-Moon (Osage/Wa-zha-zhe I-e) as he discusses his new book Columbus in the Americas (Wiley, 2002). Book signing and reception to follow in the Renwick's Grand Salon. Pre-registration is required; call (202) 275-1711. Cosponsored by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery as part of their "Around Town Author Series."

Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.
Elizabeth Broun, director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and W. Richard West (Southern Cheyenne), director of the National Museum of the American Indian, present "George Catlin and His Indian Gallery-Following the Trail of Lewis and Clark." There is a $40 registration fee ($30 for Resident Associates); pre-registration is required. For information and reservations, call The Smithsonian Associates at (202) 357-3030 or visit their Web site at Cosponsored by The Smithsonian Associates.

Friday, Dec. 6 from 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Preview Benefit
Join us for a special evening event to celebrate American Indian creativity. Get a sneak shopping preview of the Indian Market featuring a variety of one-of-a-kind crafts by Native Americans, followed by a reception. There is a $50 registration fee; pre-registration is required. For information and reservations, call (202) 275-1585.

Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Celebrate American Indian creativity at our Indian Market. Visitors can purchase a wide range of craft items from knowledgeable artists. Don't miss this great holiday shopping opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind Native American crafts. This special weekend event is planned in conjunction with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Indian Craft Shop. Free and open to the public.

Weekday Tours: Tuesday through Friday at 1 p.m., Sept. 10 through Jan 17, 2003.

Weekend Tours: Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m., Sept. 21 through Jan. 19, 2003. Meet in the lobby for all tours.

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W., near the Farragut North (Red line) and Farragut West (Blue and Orange lines) Metrorail stations. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. except Dec. 25. Admission is free. Public information: (202) 357-2700; (202) 357-1729 (TTY); (202) 633-9126 (Spanish). Recorded information: (202) 275-1500.