The North American Indian Portfolios

From the Library of Congress

Release Date
Format Tiny Folio 288 pages 4 x 4.5 inches 200 full color illustrations
Category American Art
ISBN-13 978-0-78920-906-1 SKU 1042236

This miniature folio is based on the well-known frontier artwork by Bodmer, Catlin, and McKenney & Hall.

Based on the renowned frontier artwork of George Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio, McKenney and Hall’s History of the Indian Tribes of North America, and Prince Maximilian’s Travels in the Interior of North America between 1832 and 1834, these historic collections of prints and paintings were the first to preserve images of Native Americans before their culture was affected by the white man. Fulfilling one of the Library of Congress’ central missions—to document the printed, visual, and written history of this country—the images in this volume constitute part of the archive of the American memory.

Native Americans found the world’s eyes upon them in the nineteenth century. Artists like George Catlin, Charles Bird King, and Karl Bodmer trekked to the West to paint images for those unable to make the journey and created some of the most important sociological, historical, and ethnological studies of American Indians. George Catlin, for example, was allowed to observe many of the ceremonies and games in the Indian villages which enabled him to provide a remarkably detailed picture of the tribe’s religious and social life. He wrote, “The history and customs of such a people, preserved by pictorial illustration, are themes worthy of the lifetime of one man.” This extraordinary miniature folio will appeal to anyone with an interest in American art, art history, or Native American history.

The miniature folio, published in associateion with The Library of Congress, features an introduction written by James Gilreath, the former American History Specialist for the Librarys Rare Book and Special Collections.

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