The year was 1830, and the American West was entering a phase of rapid transformation. Passage of the Indian Removal Act commenced the twelve-year migration of American Indians from lands east of the Mississippi River.
Artist George Catlin journeyed west five times in the 1830s, traversing the Great Plains and visiting more than 140 American Indian tribes. In hundreds of canvases, Catlin recorded the lifeways of Plains Indians, including illustrating massive herds of buffalo and their importance in daily life.
Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum commemorates Treasures to Go, a series of eight exhibitions from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, touring the nation through 2002.