George Catlin Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions

7-26-1796 Wilkes-Barre, PA USA - 12-23-1872 Jersey City, NJ USA

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Catlin, George

George Catlin fascination with Native Americans was fueled by his mom, who told him stories of the western frontier and how she was caught by a tribe when she was a young girl. Years later, a group of Native Americans came through Philadelphia wearing their vivid outfits and made quite an impression on Catlin.

Spurred by artifacts brought back by the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 and owned by his friend, Charles Willson Peale, he set out to record the appearance and customs of America’s native peoples.

George Catlin started his 1830 trip with General William Clark on a mission up the Mississippi River into Indian territory. St. Louis became Catlin’s base of operations for five treks between 1830 and 1836, where he visited fifty tribes. There he produced his best works and portraits of his career. During later excursions as well as visits to Florida and the Great Lakes, he did 500 paintings and accumulated a large collection of artifacts.

At the point when Catlin returned back east in 1838, he assembled the paintings and various ancient artifacts into his Indian Gallery and began delivering public lectures that drew on his good personal memories of life among the American Indians. In 1839 Catlin took his collection of paintings and artifacts for a tour of the European capitals. As a showman and entrepreneur, he attracted crowds to his Indian Gallery in London, Brussels, and Paris.

Catlin wanted to sell his Indian Gallery to the U.S. government to have his labor of love protected intact. His continued attempts to persuade various authorities in Washington, D.C. to buy his collection fizzled. In 1852 he was compelled to sell the Indian Gallery, now with 607 oil paintings, due to personal obligations. The industrialist Joseph Harrison acquired the paintings and curios, which he put away in a manufacturing plant in Philadelphia, as security.

George Catlin spent the last 20 years of his life attempting to re-create his collection and reproduced more than 400 oil paintings. From 1852 to 1857 he traveled through Central and South America and returned for further exploration in the American Far West. Many historians and descendants believe George Catlin had a family with an American Indian besides his family on the east coast.

Art Movement: America Western Art.
He Traveled To Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, England, France, Belgium.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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