George Catlin (1796 - 1872)
In 1832 George Catlin traveled up the Missouri River aboard a steamer, first painting portraits of famous chiefs, and then shifting his attention to rituals, dances, every-day village activities, the hunt and the chase. Throughout the next four years, he continued to make periodic excursions into the unsettled West, producing an extraordinary documentary of his wilderness travels. By 1837 he had visited over 48 indigenous tribes and painted from life some 500 portraits and other studies depicting Indian life. Catlin assembled this large collection, together with countless costumes, artifacts and other paraphernalia, and took it first to New York where it met with much success. What came to be known as the Catlin's Indian Gallery later traveled the world to such places as London in 1839, finding the favor of Queen Victoria's court, and Paris in 1845.