George Catlin

Life Dates:
1796 – 1872
Artist Biography:
George Catlin was an American painter and traveler who specialized in portraits of Native Americans in the Old West. Beginning his journey in 1830, he attempted to document indigenous populations before they felt the permanent effects of westward expansion. Over a span of six years he successfully visited and documented fifty indigenous tribes, and by 1839 he had traveled throughout the western and eastern portions of the country producing over six hundred paintings, seven hundred sketches, and a substantial collection of artifacts. One can see this nearly complete collection of these works in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.