New York: 1848. Two volumes. xvi,296; xii,336pp. plus twenty-four plates; publisher's ad tipped into end of second volume, printed note from the author tipped in at p.302. Original green publisher's cloth, gilt. Bindings rubbed, corners and spines moderately worn. Presentation inscription on front flyleaf of first volume; ownership inscription on front flyleaf of second. First volume partially unopened. Minor wear to contents. Good. Item #1437
An important work, with a presentation inscription by George Catlin, recounting the tour of Catlin's Indian portraits throughout Great Britain and France. The inscription reads, "To the Editor of the Courier Enquirer / with the compliments of the author / Geo. Catlin." This is likely the Weekly Courier and New-York Enquirer, though a contemporary ownership inscription in the second volume reads "Geo. Fred. Harrington, Boston." In any case, a strong inscription by Catlin.
"Catlin’s Indian Gallery was a novelty. Artists before him had painted Indian dignitaries visiting in Washington, D.C., or had portrayed them in council with American officials in the field. Catlin’s claim to originality turned on the nature and extent of his coverage. Besides more than 300 portraits of men and women from some fifty tribes, he displayed 200 paintings of Indians on their own turf, going about their everyday activities. ... He rightfully insisted that he was the first artist to offer the world a representative picture of Indian life based on personal observation" - ANB (online). Catlin lobbied the American government to purchase his Indian Gallery, but with no success. He then took it on tour, in 1839, where he toured extensively in Great Britain, then to France in 1845. "His gallery was no longer a novelty in England, and though a book recounting his experiences abroad (Notes of Eight Years’ Travels and Residence in Europe, with His North American Indian Collection ), lectures, and American emigration schemes kept his name before the British public, Catlin continued to slide toward financial ruin" - ANB.
Howes C241. Sabin 11533. Field 256. Pilling 690.