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Portrait Gallery of American Indians

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Gallery of American Indians


Selection of Indian images cont.

Bodmer lithograph
Karl Bodmer. No. 35. "Indianer Geschmückt Mit Den Zeichen Seiner Kriegsthaten. Indien décoré des emblèmes de ses faits d'armes." From H.R. Schinz's Naturgeschichte und Abbildungen des Menschen. Zurich: Honeggerschen Lithographischen Anstalt, 1845. Ca. 11 x 8. Lithograph by J. Honegger. Full hand color. Very good condition. Denver.

Just two years after the publication of Maximilian's monumental Travels In the Interior of North America, H.R. Schinz issued a natural history, with a focus on humans of different races, which included as illustrations images after Bodmer. The very fine lithographs, of which this is one, were drawn by J. Honegger and they are close reduced versions of the aquatint prints. These are the earliest and largest derivatives of Bodmer's images, and are if anything rarer than the aquatints. These are fine examples of the output of on of the greatest chroniclers of Native Americans. $1,600
GoGo to page of available Bodmer prints

Stanley: Trial of Red Jacket
John Mix Stanley. [The Trial Of Red Jacket.] Signed in image, "J. M. Stanley 1869." Berlin: Storch & Kramer, 1871. Chromolithograph. 23 x 35 (sight). Print was laid on a board which is stable. Some old rubs repaired and inpainted. In old frame. Overall, fine condition. Very scarce. Ref: Peter Marzio, The Democratic Art, pp. 181f., plate 104.

A superior chromolithograph and a very scarce print after John Mix Stanley's famous painting "The Trial of Red Jacket." Red Jacket (ca. 1750-20 Jan. 1830) was a Seneca chief who became a leader of his nation during the American Revolution. Allied to the British, the Seneca found themselves on the losing side at the end of hostilities. From a weakened position, Red Jacket emerged as a negotiator and speaker rather than a warrior, to the consternation of many among the tribe. In 1792 he led a delegation of 50 Indians to Philadelphia where he met George Washington and received a large peace medal showing him shaking hands with the first president. As in this scene, Red Jacket is always portrayed wearing this medal. Nevertheless, in 1801 after defending Seneca tribal ways, which included rejection of Christianity, he was brought to trial for witchcraft by fellow tribesmen. His oratory provide a successful defense, and he emerged from the trial as a leader who preserved Seneca lands that included a reservation in the area of present-day Buffalo, New York. He and his tribe fought on the American side during the War of 1812, and that participation enabled the Seneca to retain their land for years after the death of this noble leader.

Stanley was interested in marketing his western images to a wider public than could afford his paintings, and so decided to use the relatively new and elaborate process of chromolithography. This process, with its many layers of color, most closely duplicated the appearance of original oil paintings, and Stanley hoped the resulting prints would help make his fortune. In 1869, Stanley arranged for a German publisher to issue chromolithographs of some of his paintings. The resulting prints proved to be quite popular, but the advent of the Franco-Prussian War soon made the business arrangement difficult to continue and few prints were ever produced. This rare example of one of Stanley's prints is a fine illustration both of the quality of his work and of the art of chromolithography in the late nineteenth century. $6,800

Wyoming Massacre
F.O.C. Darley. "Wyoming." New York: W.H. Holbrooke, 1852. Engraving by J.C. McRae. 18 1/4 x 25 1/2. Hand color. Very good condition.

A dramatic, large engraving based on F.O.C. Darley's drawing of the Wyoming Valley massacre. Darley is perhaps best known as America's first great illustrator, producing numerous images for books and magazines in the nineteenth century. He also, though, produced many historical images which were made into separate folio prints. Indeed, such was Darley's influence through his illustrations and prints that he must be seen as seminal in the forging of the American national identity. This print shows the fight on July 3, 1777 between Patriot militia and Loyalist troops supported by Indian allies in the Wyoming Valley in northern Pennsylvania. After a brief but fierce battle, the militia troops fled, only to be pursed, especially by the Indians, who killed and tortured those they could catch. This "massacre" became a rallying point for Patriots leading to retaliation in the Sullivan-Clinton campaign against the Iroquois in 1779. This print was supposed to be "First of a Series of national Engravings" to be issued by W.H. Holbrooke, or both New York and London, but none others seem to have been issued. $1,200

Mid-nineteenth century Indian portraits. From various publications. Ca. 1850-60. Wood engravings. Original hand color. Good condition, though some with stains.

In the mid-nineteenth century, a number of histories of the United States were issued containing wood-engraved illustrations of American views, portraits and scenes from our past. Some of these were potraits of famous Native Americans, who were beginning to be looked at as historic figures of note and interest.

Sioux War
"The Sioux War-Cavalry Charge of Sully's Brigade at the Battle of White Stone Hill, September 3, 1863." From Harper's Weekly. New York: October 21, 1863. 9 x 14. Wood engraving. Denver.

Harper's Weekly was a weekly newspaper filled with woodblock illustrations by many of the leading American artists of the last half of the nineteenth century. It, and other illustrated newspapers of the day, provide one of the only sources for contemporary images of the American West during the nineteenth century. Drawn by a number of expert artists, including Frederic Remington, Charles Graham, R.F. Zogbaum and Thomas Moran, these images are just now beginning to be appreciated not only as decorative and affordable, but as having their own historic value for the collector. This is a fine contemporary view of a Cavalry charge during the Sioux War of 1863. $75
GoGo to page with other images of Native Americans from illustrated newspapers

Prints by Arthur Schott. From William Emory's Report of the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey. Washington:GPO, 1857; Cornelius Wendell, Printer. Ca. 8 x 5 1/2. Color lithographs. Very good condition, except as noted. Denver.

The border with Mexico first established at the end of the Mexican-American War ran along the Gila River and unfortunately the only feasible southern route for a railroad ran through Mexico. This prompted renewed negotiations, resulting in the Gadsden Purchase, acquiring for the United States enough land to run the railroad line. William H. Emory, a topographical engineer who had previously done surveying in the southwest was appointed to survey the new border. This is the report that resulted from his survey, and it includes not only the geographic information and maps required, but much other information on the natural history and physical character of these newly acquired lands. The views were drawn by Arthur Schott, a German-born scientist, artist and musician who was appointed as a "special scientific collector," to gather botanical, geological, and zoological specimens, as well as making notes and drawings of the land and its flora and fauna. One of the most important results were his first-hand images of the Indian tribes, including Seminole, Lipan Apache, Yumas, and Kiowa.

GoGo to page with views from Emory's border survey

Fort Union and Assinniboine Indians
John Mix Stanley. "Fort Union, and Distribution of Goods to the Assinniboines." From Isaac Stevens' Explorations and Surveys For A Railroad Route From The Mississippi River To The Pacific Ocean...Near The Forty-Seventh And Forty-Ninth Parallels Of North Latitude. Washington: Thomas H. Ford, 1860. Tinted lithographs by Sarony, Major & Knapp. Very good condition. Denver.

In the 1850's the houses of the United States Congress were in a stalemate over many differences between the North and the South. One pressing issue was that of a transcontinental railroad, for there was a crying need for fast and reliable transportation to the burgeoning west. In Congress there was a strong rivalry between a faction which wanted a northern route and one, spearheaded by Jefferson Davis, which wanted a southern route. In 1853 Congress appropriated $150,000 for a survey of the possible routes for a transcontinental railroad to the Pacific. Expeditions were sent out with instructions to not only survey but also to make a full report on the general nature of the country, including flora and fauna, geology, climate, etc.. The reports from these exhibitions were issued in a series of twelve volumes between 1855 and 1861. The northern survey was commanded by Isaac I. Stevens, who had only just resigned his army commission to become governor of the Washington Territory. It covered the area between the 47th and 49th parallels, between St. Paul, MN and Puget Sound on the Pacific coast. It was the most elaborate of the surveys, with a group of natural scientists, including J.G. Cooper, G. Gibbs, and George Suckley, and making the first use of photography west of the Mississippi. The views for this report were drawn by John Mix Stanley and Gustavus Sohon; this is an excellent image of Assinniboines at Fort Union by Stanley. $125
GoGo to page with other prints from the Pacific Railroad Surveys

Ojibway Camp
"Ojibway Camp. Lake of the Woods." From Archibald Campbell and Capt. W.J. Twining's Reports upon the Survey of the Boundary between the Territory of the United States and the Possessions of Great Britain from the Lake of the Woods to the summit of the Rocky Mountains. Washington: G.P.O., 1878. Tinted lithograph by T. Sinclair & Son. 6 1/2 x 9 1/2. Very good condition. Denver.

In 1872, Captain W.J. Twining, under the direction of U.S. commissioner Archibald Campbell, was sent out to survey the 49th parallel between Lake of the Woods and the continental divide in the Rocky Mountains. This had been established as the border between the British possessions in North America and the United States in a treaty of 1818. The border was extended from the continental divide to the Pacific in a treaty of 1846, and that border was surveyed between 1859 and 1861, but the original 49th parallel boundary had not been formally surveyed until the U.S. Congress passed an act on March 19, 1872, "to fix and mark the land-boundary from the Stony Mountains to the Lake of the Woods." Twining explored, mapped and provided illustrations of his survey, publishing his report in 1878. This included this excellent first hand image of an Ojibway encampment. On Approval VLS

Indian Beauty
"The Indian Beauty." Currier & Ives, 1857-72. Small folio. Vignette, ca. 11 3/4 x 9. Lithograph. Bright, original hand color. Narrow margins, just beyond image at top and below imprint at bottom. Otherwise, very good condition. C:3083. Denver.

Currier & Ives were America's printmakers. Their large corpus of lithographs documented the interests, tastes and thoughts of many Americans in the nineteenth century. This portrait of "The Indian Beauty" provides a most interesting look at one conception of the American Indian at a time when some felt that Native Americans were savages and impediments towards western expansion. This charming young beauty is decked out in finery that owes more to East Coast Victorian taste than to native design, and indeed her visage is more Caucasian than Indian. While not an accurate picture of a real Indian Beauty, this is an fascinating reflection of what some thought was an appropriate image. $375

From Photographs by Ranger & Austin. "The Onondaga Indians." From Harper's Weekly, New York, February 17, 1872. Full page with text and five images: "The Methodist Church," "Epiphany Chapel," "Offering The Sacrifice," "Captain George," and "The Christian Family." Wood engravings. Very good condition.

A page from this famous illustrated newspaper about the the Onondaga Indians who lived south of Syracuse, New York. Interesting text and images based on photographs. $50


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