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George Catlin's American Buffalo presents 40 oil paintings by George Catlin (1796-1872), one of the first artists of European descent to travel up the Missouri river following the buffalo and the native Americans who hunted them. On the Oklahoma prairie, Catlin witnessed a landscape blackened by millions of bison, and recorded the traditions of its indigenous people.
On one level Catlin's paintings offer an insight into 19th-century American ideas about the land and animals of the Continent. But he was also the first to champion the notion of a national park to protect the buffalo and native American people, that he portrayed so vividly in his paintings. Many of the artist's own journal entries accompany the featured paintings; together they present a complex character, whose vision still informs much of today's ecological debate about the future of America's Great Plains.
- Foreword & Acknowledgements by Elizabeth Broun and James C. McNutt
- George Catlin's Vision of the Great Plains by Adam Duncan Harris
- Checklist of the Exhibition
Adam Duncan Harris has been the Petersen Curator of Art and Research at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, since 2000. He has written extensively on art, most recently Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct (2012), George McLean: The Living Landscape (2010) and Wildlife in American Art: Masterworks from the National Museum of Wildlife Art (2009).