OverviewDuring the 1830s, traveling with fur company representatives, cavalry officers, and later alone on multiple western journeys, George Catlin gathered drawings, sketches, and notes that would allow him to create an “Indian Gallery”—a collection of more than 500 paintings of American Indians. By the end of the decade, he would be widely recognized as the most celebrated painter of America’s native people. Catlin painted this portrait of White Cloud when the chief and a small party of Iowa joined the artist in France to promote a European tour of his “Indian Gallery.” The tour included a stop in Paris, where the Iowa performed before King Louis Philippe.
George Catlin [1796-1872]; by descent to his daughters, Clara Gregory Catlin, Louise Catlin Kinney, and Elizabeth Wing Catlin; purchased 1912 from Elizabeth Wing Catlin by the American Museum of Natural History; sold 1959 through (Kennedy Galleries, New York) to Mr. Paul Mellon, Upperville, VA; gift 1965 to the NGA.
Associated NamesMellon, Paul, Mr.
- Loan for display with permanent collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1965-1966 (loan to Three Centuries exhibition was extended).
- Three Centuries of American Painting, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1965.
- The American West: Painters from Catlin to Russell, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco; The St. Louis Art Museum, 1972, no. 19.
- American Indian Life: Paintings by George Catlin, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1980.
- George Catlin, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, 1981-1982.
- America: Art and the West, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1986-1987, no. 4, repro.
- America: The New World in 19th-Century Painting, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, 1999, no. 56, repro.
- Art in America: 300 Years of Innovation, National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Shanghai Museum; The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, 2007-2008, unnumbered catalogue, repro.
- American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 27, repro. 25.
- Truettner, William H. The Natural Man Observed: A Study of Catlin's Indian Gallery. Washington, D.C., 1979: 294.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 124, repro.
- Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1980: no. 18, color repro.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 548, no. 829, color repro.
- Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. Rev. ed. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1988: 84, no. 19, color repro.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 105, repro.
- Fiero, Gloria K. The Humanistic Tradition: Romanticism, Realism, and the Nineteenth-Century World. Madison, 1998, no. 27.15, repro.
- Gurney, George, and Therese Thau Heyman, eds. George Catlin and His Indian Gallery. Exh. cat. Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., 2002-2003. Washington, D.C., 2002: 70, 71 fig. 9.