Másh-kee-wet, a Great Dandy

Before George Catlin began his extensive travels in the West, he spent time in eastern cities, where he often saw visiting delegations of Native Americans and was painted their portraits. Nine members of a Winnebago delegation, including He Who Breaks the Bushes and He Who Moistens the Wood, sat for him in Washington, D.C., in 1828. Three years later, also in the capital, the artist painted Menominee and Seneca delegations, including a portrait of the Menominee Másh-kee-wet, whom the artist called in his 1848 Catalogue, a great beau, or dandy.” In the late 1820s, Catlin was still a conventional portrait painter who was looking for, as he later wrote, some branch or enterprise of the art, on which to devote a whole life-time of enthusiasm,” and he found his enterprise” in the delegations of Indians who came east. He thought them arrayed and equipped in all their classic beauty … exactly for the painter’s palette!” (Catlin, Letters and Notes , vol. 1, no. 1, 1841; reprint 1973)

Title
Másh-kee-wet, a Great Dandy
Artist
Date
1831
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
21 1816 12 in. (53.542.0 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Ethnic – Indian – Menominee
  • Portrait male – Mash Kee Wet
Object Number
1985.66.223
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI