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Understanding the broad legacy left by various interpreters of the Native American way of life, such as artist George Catlin or the photographer Edward S. Curtis, can be puzzling and rather difficult at times. Drawing on the fine collection of paintings and sketches by Catlin held by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, this multifaceted online exhibit and educational tool offers interpretations and commentary on Catlin's artworks from a diverse set of individuals, including those of curator Peter Matthiessen, Emery Battis (reading Catlin's own words), and several contemporary Native American leaders and artists. The site is divided into four thematic sections, including one on the conflict between the European American concept of land as contrasted with the communal resource approach taken by Native Americans. Each of these sections includes a selection of carefully selected works by Catlin, and audio commentaries by art historians, contemporary Native Americans (such as Wilma Man Killer, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation), and of course, Catlin himself, whose words are narrated by Emery Battis. Other real gems available here include digitized images of Catlin's notebooks, which include transcripts of each page.
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Date of Scout Publication 2004-02-13
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