George Kathleen was one of the first artists of European descent who traveled across the Mississippi River to record what he called the "manners and customs" of American Indians, to draw scenes and portraits of their lives. He intended to document these native cultures before, as he feared, they were irrevocably changed as a result of the settlement of the frontier and the massive movements caused by the Act of the Eviction of the Indians of 1830. During his trips, Kathleen painted huge herds of buffaloes that roamed the Great Plains of the American West. In the chronicle of the life of Indian cultures of the Plains, he caught the central importance of the buffalo in the daily life of the tribes of American Indians, from food and shelter to the ceremony and name.
George Kathleen was a complex and controversial figure in his own century and remains so today. In thisexhibition Images of bison and their integration into Native American life on the Great Plains are considered.
The exhibition features forty original paintings by George Kathleen and works by contemporary Indian artists Woodrow Crambo, Paul Goodbier, Allan Hauser, Julian Martinez, Fritz Sholder, Yaun Kwik Smith, Ava Tsire, Thomas Vigil and Batien Yaz.