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An extraordinary series of portraits of Native American Indians painted by the artist George Catlin between 1830 and his death in 1872.

George Catlin’s fascination for Native American Indians began in childhood, through the stories told by his mother and the brief glimpses of the tribes who occasionally passed through Philadelphia.

In 1830 he went west in order to document these vanishing races, amassing some 50 portraits of Cheyenne, Crow, Blackfeet and Hidatsa tribes over a period of eight years. The results were the ‘Indian Gallery’, a touring exhibition Catlin organised along the East Coast, giving lectures about the customs of the tribes and his experience of living with them.

When interest waned in America, Catlin went overseas, taking his exhibition to Europe where his depictions of proud, heroic warriors still resonate as an image of Native American Indians today.

National Portrait Gallery

St Martin's Place, London, Greater London, WC2H 0HE

020 7306 0055


Opening times

Saturday - Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Friday: 10am – 9pm
Closed 24 – 26 Dec

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