Editor's note: The University of Virginia Art Museum provided source material to Resource Library for the following article. If you have questions or comments regarding the source material, please contact the University of Virginia Art Museum directly through either this phone number or web address:



Honoring the Legacy of Lewis and Clark: Native American Art and the American West


The Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806 opened the American West. During the two centuries that followed, photographers and artists recorded the landscape and American Indians they encountered on their travels. These images, represented in books, prints, and photographs, expanded knowledge of the frontier and provide an historical look at the culture and landscape they confronted. (left: George Catlin, An Assiniboin Chief, 1844, Collection of A. G. Edwards and Sons, St. Louis, Missouri)

"Honoring the Legacy of Lewis and Clark: Native American Art and the American West" pays homage to American Indian art and culture with objects from the museum's permanent collection and private loans.

The exhibit is part of the University's national celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Trade between American Indians and Europeans was well established in some areas by the early 19th century. Lewis and Clark carried glass beads popular with American Indian women for use in their arts. Dating from the late 19th to early 20th centuries, the objects in the exhibit offer evidence that nearly 100 years later, the American Indians encountered by Lewis and Clark maintained their traditional styles and methods of production incorporating native and trade materials. On view will be 35 objects including beaded garments from the Plains and Prairie peoples, basketry utilizing local fibers crafted by tribes living on the plateaus and American Indian objects that reflect continued contact with Euro-Americans.  (right: George Catlin, Buffalo Hunt Under White Wolf Skin, 1844, Collection of A. G. Edwards and Sons, St. Louis, Missouri)   

Included in the exhibit will be 28 prints by artists George Catlin and Karl Bodmer who documented the lives, manners and customs of the Plains Indians through portraits and landscapes. The prints are on loan from the A. G. Edwards Corporate Collection through the sponsorship of the Charlottesville A.G. Edwards office.        

The exhibition runs through Sunday, March 2, 2003.


Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the University of Virginia Art Museum in Resource Library Magazine.

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 2003 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

Copyright 2012 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.