George Catlin

(2026 words)
  • Joshua Bellin


“A monument to a dying race, and a monument to myself”: so George Catlin, antebellum painter of the American Indians, described his “Indian Gallery”. Largely self-taught and self-supporting, Catlin undertook the most ambitious documentary project of his time, his aim being to produce a “graphic delineation of the living manners, customs, and character of an interesting race of people, who are rapidly passing away from the face of the earth . . . thus snatching from a hasty oblivion what could be saved for the benefit of posterity, and perpetuating it, as a fair and just monument, to the memory o…

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Bellin, Joshua. "George Catlin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2004
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]