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The North American Indian Portfolio from the Library of Congress: Tiny Folio

The North American Indian Portfolio from the Library of Congress: Tiny Folio

Current price: $11.95
Publication Date: October 1st, 2006
Abbeville Press
Special Order - Subject to Availability


This Tiny Folio™ volume is based on the well-known frontier artwork by Karl Bodmer, George Catlin, and McKenney and 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’s 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.

About the Author

George Catlin (1796–1872) was an American artist and traveler, best known for his depictions of Native American culture.

Thomas McKenney (1785–1859) was the first head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

James Hall (1793–1868) provided the biographies for the History of the Indian Tribes of North America, published in three volumes between 1838 and 1844.

James Gilreath is the former American History Specialist at the Library of Congress for Rare Book and Special Collections.