Seth Eastman: A Portfolio of North American Indians

Seth Eastman: A Portfolio of North American Indians

by Sarah E. Boehme
     
 

The premier 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 preserved a visual record of Indian life which was then undergoing rapid change.…  See more details below

Overview

The premier 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 preserved a visual record of Indian life which was then undergoing rapid change. This landmark publication showcases the former James J. Hill Collection of Seth Eastman watercolors which was purchased by W. Duncan MacMillan in 1995.

Editorial Reviews

Patricia Monaghan
This book about Indians is also the story of watercolorist Seth Eastman (180875) and industrialist James J. Hill (18381916). Assigned to Fort Snelling on what, in the early 1800s, was the frontier, Eastman captured the daily lives of the Ojibway and Dakota peoples in expressive works on paper that Hill later collected and housed in the library he established in St. Paul. The accompanying essays concentrate on the two white men, but the book's reproductions constitute an entirely different work. In them we see not the romanticizations of Indian life so many artists of the period give us, but the real lives of those people as they gather rice, fish through the ice, mourn their dead, and heal their sick. The drawing of a young woman serenely sitting, in the distinctively modest way of Ojibway women of the era, in the shade of a menstrual lodge while her village bustles in the background exemplifies the precious documentation Eastman made. Pleasingly composed and delicately colored, Eastman's works emphasize the ways of a people whose collective life would soon be radically changed.
Seth Eastman: A Portfolio Of North American Indians showcases fifty-six watercolor paintings by a career army officer who was assigned to frontier duty (including a seven-year stint at Fort Snelling in the 1840s). The artist was also a gifted pictorial historian of the Native Americans who was scrupulous in his accuracy of portraying the whole complex fabric of Native American dress, culture, and daily life. This outstanding compendium of his work ranges from temporary summer encampments to winter villages; courting and marriage customs; the making of maple sugar, protecting cornfields from birds, spearing fish, gathering wild rice; the menstrual lodge, how Dakota women sat, the medicine man; as well as breaking camp and traveling. Enhanced with informative, insightful, descriptive commentaries by Sara E. Boehme, Christian E. Feest, and Patricia Condon Johnston, Seth Eastman: A Portfolio Of North American Indians is a superb addition to any Native American collection and will prove to be of immense interest to students of the 19th Century American art history as well.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780963933843
Publisher:
Afton Historical Society Press
Publication date:
09/28/1995
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
196
Product dimensions:
12.34(w) x 12.21(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

Elmore L. Amderson
Breathtaking in its beauty and profound in its intellectual impact; one of the most important publishing accomplishments of this or any other year.

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