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George Catlin: American Indian Portraits

George Catlin: American Indian Portraits

Location: Birmingham Museum

12th July 2013 - 13th October 2013

During the 1830s Pennsylvanian-born artist George Catlin (1796-1872) made five trips to the western United States to document the Native American peoples and their way of life. The resulting portraits have become one of the most extensive, evocative and important records of indigenous peoples ever made.

This exhibition from the National Portrait gallery has been organised in collaboration with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington.

Supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Free exhibition.  Galleries 12 and 13. 

Summary of Related Lunchtime Exhibition Talks:

All talks start at 1pm. Tickets cost £2 and are available on the day from the vestibule reception desk (next to the Round Room). Please meet in the Round Room for the start of the tour. 

  • Wednesday 4th September
    Exhibition curator Dr Stephanie Pratt discusses curating George Catlin: American Indian Portraits. She will also explore how Catlin’s images have been thought to construct an idealised view of Native American peoples. The talk will also look at the role of Catlin’s paintings in the recovery of Native Americans’ past histories and cultures. 

  • Thursday 19th September
    Dr Robert Lewis, Lecturer in American History from the University of Birmingham, discusses George Catlin and his time in Birmingham with the ‘Indian Gallery’ in the 1840s.

  • Wednesday 2nd October.
    Dr Sadiah Qureshi, Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham, explores Catlin’s career as a painter, showman and political campaigner and why his paintings are still important for historians and Native Americans today.