George Catlin and his Indian Gallery
Museum of the American West
The Smithsonian’s scurrilous commentary does not bear repeating. William Fisk’s portrait shows the man all eye and hand. Catlin is supreme in the Anglo-American portrait tradition. His subjects are Indians. Baudelaire saw his Petit Loup in 1846, wondered why Catlin was called incompetent, saw a masterpiece.
His landscapes are of another order than we are accustomed to, as Baudelaire explains. No eye so quick without a camera saw the Great Plains.
Stand back a few feet, so you can see them.