CONTACT US:    406.243.6022    •    email    •    MORE >

CONTACT US:    406.243.6022    •    info@humanitiesmontana.org    •    MORE >

CONTACT US >

Dueling Paintbrushes: George Catlin and Karl Bodmer on the Missouri


with Kristi Hager

painter, photographer

Two painters traveled up the Missouri River within a year of each other, George Catlin in 1832, Karl Bodmer in 1833. They had very different temperaments and very different styles of painting the same Indian villages, the same chiefs, the same sacred rituals, the same bison herds, the same river bluffs. Catlin and Bodmer also documented how each tribe painted accounts of their own lives in their own style on tipis, drums, and buffalo hides. This abundance of painting is a rich visual record of the High Plains at a unique time after Lewis & Clark but before the arrival of railways and photography. Audience members consider whether they would rather have a painted portrait, a photograph, or the buffalo robe of Mandan Chief Ma-To-Toh-Pa (Four Bears).