George Catlin, Iowa Indians Who Visited London and Paris, 1861/1869, National Gallery of Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Catlin took his enormous art collection on tour to several cities on the East Coast. In 1839, shortly after the American tour ended, he set sail for London, taking hundreds of paintings and eight tons (16,000 pounds!) of Indian artifacts. His family joined him the following year.
In addition to exhibiting paintings and artifacts, Catlin hired several groups of Iowa and Ojibbeway Indians to perform ritual dances and ceremonies. His spirited lectures and the authentic collection of artifacts made Catlin's shows incredibly popular. Queen Victoria attended in London, and in France King Louis Philippe was so impressed by the artist he decided to hire Catlin to create a series of paintings about the North American adventures of the sixteenth-century French explorer La Salle. During this time Catlin also painted a number of individual portraits of Indians.
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