Wée-ke-rú-law, He Who Exchanges

  • George Catlin, Wée-ke-rú-law, He Who Exchanges, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.121

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This portrait reflects George Catlin’s respect for the Native Americans who posed for him. He Who Exchanges looked directly at Catlin while the painter worked to capture his likeness. The figure’s pose reflects the symbolic importance of the effigy pipe he holds in his hand. Catlin had been given a similar pipe by a Pawnee, who explained that the seated figure on the pipe was his own portrait and that it would enable him to look a white man in the face. (Gurney and Heyman, eds., George Catlin and His Indian Gallery, 2002)

Title
Wée-ke-rú-law, He Who Exchanges
Artist
Date
1832
On View
Dimensions
29 x 24 in. (73.7 x 60.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait male – He Who Exchanges – bust
  • Ethnic – Indian – Oto
  • Recreation – leisure – smoking
Object Number
1985.66.121
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI