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"Wild American Savages and the Civilized English:..." Topic

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19th Century

623 hits since 28 Mar 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2018 11:17 a.m. PST

… Catlin's Indian Gallery and the Shows of London.

"George Catlin was the outstanding painter of nineteenth-century American Indian life, and a flamboyant showman. Brian Dippie has shown that the two roles were intimately connected.1 Catlin had a grand design to record "doomed" Indian cultures for posterity. "I have flown to the rescue of their looks and their modes," he pronounced from London in 1841. White settlers were exterminating them, "yet, phoenix-like, they may rise from ‘the stain of the painter's palette,' and live again upon canvass, and stand forth for centuries to come, the living monuments of a noble race."2 To this end, he persevered with his field research: he devoted half-a-dozen years in the 1830s to sketching and painting "wild" "red men" in the Great Plains, and spent several more in South America in the 1850s. He was scrupulous in recording the customs unique to the Plains tribes. In his Gallery catalogue, he certified that "every painting has been made from nature, BY MY OWN HAND," and showed "true and fac-simile traces of individual life and historical facts." He took pains to establish his credentials as a true witness; to verify his claims, he quoted pages of testimonials from the great and the good associated with the Indian question and displayed their signatures to authenticate his illustrations.3 His purpose, as he repeated many times, was to "impart useful instruction to those who are curious to learn the true character of the Indians…"
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Cacique Caribe Inactive Member29 Mar 2018 11:35 a.m. PST

I can be a wild American savage too, when pushed into it, or when I'm hungry :)

PS. Except that the "Native American" contribution to my genes is Caribbean Arawak (Taino).

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2018 9:55 a.m. PST



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