Four Dancers

  • George Catlin, Four Dancers, 1843-1844, oil, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.386,439

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George Catlin’s Indian Gallery did well on tour in London and other British cities, but inevitably its novelty wore off. To rekindle interest, Catlin added a new attraction in 1844, of nine Ojibwe from Canada who danced, sang, and “scalped” enemies, to the delight of the crowd. Not everyone was charmed, however, and Charles Dickens dismissed the group as a “party of Indians squatting and spitting . . . or dancing their miserable jigs after their own dreary manner.”

Title
Four Dancers
Artists
Date
1843-1844
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
24 x 29 in. (60.9 x 73.7 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group
  • Western
  • Ceremony – Indian
  • Ceremony – dance
Object Number
1985.66.386,439
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI