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A Finding Aid to the George Catlin papers, 1821-1904, 1946 | Digitized Collection

George Catlin papers, 1821-1904, 1946

Catlin, George, 1796-1872

Painter

The papers of George Catlin in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2005 from 2 reels of microfilm. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 2,360 images.

The microfilm for this collection was fully digitized in 2005 as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Grant.

Collection Information

Size: 2.3 linear feet

Summary: The collection comprises 2.3 feet of papers concerning George Catlin's creation and promotion of his famed "Indian Gallery" of paintings, drawings, and artifacts of North American Indians. Dating from 1821 through 1904, with one item dated 1946, the papers the papers include letters, notebooks and journals, receipt books and loose receipts, printed materials, and other documentation. The bulk of the collection focuses on Catlin's efforts to promote the sale of his gallery to the United States government through tours, including London and Paris, and petitions to various governments to purchase the Gallery. Among the rare printed catalogs and petitions in the collection are exhibition catalogs for the U.S., London, and Paris tours, the earliest dating from 1837. Letters and other documents include letters dating from the 1830s from Henry Clay, Thomas Sully, and William Henry Seward commending Catlin's work, as well as Catlin family correspondence and papers dating from 1821 through the 1870s.

Biographical/Historical Note

George Catlin (1796-1872) was a portrait painter, miniature painter, and ethnographer, best known for his paintings of the American Indian.

Provenance

Deposited at the Archives of American Art 1981 by Bureau of Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials

Funding

The microfilm for this collection was fully digitized in 2005 as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Grant.