Stark Museum of Art
The American Frontier Revisited
"The American Frontier Revisited," showing through May, 2001, features a wide selection of early American paintings by well-known Indian portraitists and such rare artifacts as George Catlin's Album Unique. This work features a collection of 47 full-length portraits selected from Catlin's North American Indian Collection. Many of the portraits showcased in this text feature Indians and groupings of Indians whom Catlin knew personally. In addition, several portraits of famous Indians by Catlin are also displayed in this show. (left: George Catlin (1796-1872), Album Unique, 1952, Bear Dance, pencil and watercolor on paper, 17 3/8 x 22 3/4 inches, Stark Museum of Art, 11.77/2R)
Also on exhibit are works by other well known frontier artists such as Jules Tavernier and John Mix Stanley. Tavernier's "White Man's Weapon" shows a Plains Indian carefully inspecting a rifle that was probably acquired in trade. It strikes an interesting contrast between the newly acquired weapon and the old discarded weapons lying in the foreground. Also prominently featured are works by J. M. Stanley. A new acquisition entitled "Return of the Hunting Party" shows a fleshly killed elk with three Indians standing attentively and keeping guard. Since much of Stanley's work was destroyed in a fire at the Smithsonian, very few examples of his work remain to this day.
In this show are also paintings by Paul Kane, a Canadian artist who traveled across Canada and extensively documented the many different tribes across this vast country. The Stark Museum houses one of the largest collections of Paul Kane's paintings in the world. The Indian portraits of Charles Bird King are also featured. Many of these portraits are of famous Indians who came to Washington on treaty business during the 1820's.
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Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 4/6/11
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