A Portfolio of North American Indians
The foremost pictorial historian of the American Indian in the nineteenth century, Seth Eastman was a career army officer and talented artist widely appreciated today for his ethnographic detail. Assigned to frontier duty, including a seven-year stint at Fort Snelling in the 1840s, Eastman set out to preserve a visual record of Indian life which was then undergoing rapid change. Enabled by his long-term military residency among the Indians to become familiar not only with their colorful external trappings but with the whole complex fabric of Indian culture, Eastman painted all of the commonplace activities of everyday Indian life. His portfolio included scenes of winter villages and temporary summer encampments; courting and marriage customs; Indians making maple sugar, protecting their cornfields from birds, spearing fish, and gathering wild rice; the menstrual lodge, the manner in which Dakota women sat, and the medicine man with a patient; and the breaking up of camp and Indians traveling. The Hill Collection contains fifty-six paintings the artist prepared mainly for Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's monumental six-volume work, Information Regarding the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States (1851-1857).
196 pp ~ illustrated — ©1995