This is a lithographic portrait of Sha-Ha-Ka, a Mandan Chief, from McKenney and Hall’s three-volume work, Indian Tribes of North America. This portrait was printed and colored in 1838 by J. T. Bowen in 1838 and published by F.W. Greenough out of Philadelphia.
Indian Tribes of North America has long been celebrated for its faithful and conscientious portraits of Native Americans. McKenney and Hall saw their work as a way of preserving an accurate visual record of what they feared was a rapidly disappearing culture. The book was published in three volumes, from 1836 to 1844. The lithographs in the book are based on paintings by the renowned artist Charles Bird King. The War Department employed King to paint the Indian delegates visiting Washington, forming the basis of the War Department's Indian Gallery. Most of King's original paintings were subsequently destroyed in a fire at the Smithsonian. As such, their appearance in McKenney and Hall's magnificent work is our only record of the likenesses of many of the most prominent nineteenth century Indian leaders.
Good condition, some toning. Light stains and chipping to outer margins. One larger stain to top right corner. Scattered foxing marks. Attractive hand coloring. Unframed, sold as-is.
Unframed dimensions: 20" H x 14" W.