Buffalo Herds Crossing the Upper Missouri

  • George Catlin, Buffalo Herds Crossing the Upper Missouri, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.400

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“Near the mouth of White River, we met the most immense herd crossing the Missouri River---and from an imprudence got our boat into imminent danger amongst them, from which we were highly delighted to make our escape. It was in the midst of the ‘running season,’ and we had heard the ‘roaring’ (as it is called) of the herd, when we were several miles from them. When we came in sight, we were actually terrified at the immense numbers that were streaming down the green hills on one side of the river, and galloping up and over the bluff s on the other. The river was filled, and in parts blackened, with their heads and horns, as they were swimming about . . . furiously hooking and climbing on to each other. I rose in my canoe, and by my gestures and hallooing, kept them from coming in contact with us, until we were out of their reach.” George Catlin sketched this scene in 1832, during his long voyage on the Missouri River. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 32, 1841; reprint 1973)

Title
Buffalo Herds Crossing the Upper Missouri
Artist
Date
1832
Location
Dimensions
11 1/4 x 14 3/8 in. (28.5 x 36.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Ethnic – Indian
  • Landscape – river – Missouri River
  • Animal – buffalo
  • Western
Object Number
1985.66.400
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI