The Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Ga., next month will open an exhibit of works painted by a 19th century artist.
The new exhibit — named The Indian Gallery of Henry Inman — will be on view through Oct. 7.
As noted in a Booth Western news release:
Portrait artist Henry Inman was hired in the 1830s by Thomas McKenney, former head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to copy a series of earlier portraits by Charles Bird King. The original portraits by King were done from life, when visiting Indian dignitaries would sit for him.
Inman’s portraits, which captured the likeness of the Indian delegates, including the cultural influences of the time, were used for a book McKenney and James Hall published, the History of the Indian Tribes of North America. In time, Inman’s copies would become more important as a fire at the Smithsonian Institute in 1865 destroyed nearly all of Kings’ original portraits along with a collection of American Indian artifacts McKenney had assembled for display.
“With few remnants of the previous tenants who called the Southeast region ‘home,’ it is easy to forget that by the early 1800s the Cherokee, Creek and Seminole Indians had largely become hybrid peoples, with degrees of assimilation or resistance to European-American customs while preserving their ancient traditions,” Booth Museum Director of Curatorial Services Jeffrey Donaldson said in a news release. “As we might discover a treasury left by previous inhabitants in our attic, The Indian Gallery of Henry Inman is a time capsule of legendary people who, despite their relocation on the Western frontier, provide an important link between the American South and West.”
The High Museum of Art in Atlanta with the support of Ann and Tom Cousins organized the exhibit.