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Audubon Parrots

Wednesday 24 April 2013 Get out there and look at pictures - then buy the book

If you are in London this spring, check out the work of 19th-century American artist George Catlin. The National Portrait Gallery has an exhibition of his stunning native American portraits running until late June.

Pennsylvanian-born Catlin’s trips out west onto the American prairie inspired a series of richly-coloured paintings of its landscape, animals and inhabitants. Treks out to follow the buffalo-runs resulted in his vision for a ‘nation’s park’ to preserve the land and the way of life he witnessed. Catlin was an early conservationist whose ideas ran counter to the contemporary push to farm and colonise the prairie. For more of Catlin’s vivid paintings and the artist’s his own take on his experiences, September sees the publication of our own George Catlin’s American Buffalo – 40 oil paintings of the landscape, traditions and hunting practices of the indigenous people, and accompanying entries from Catlin’s journal. A travelling exhibition organised by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in collaboration with the National Museum of Wildlife Art opens on 10 May in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It’ll then move to Palm Springs, CA, Orlando, FL and then on to Winston Salem, NC.
Elsewhere, if you’re in Madison, Wisconsin this weekend, catch the last few days of 1934: A New Deal for Artists at the Chazen Museum of Art. The exhibition shows works by US artists supported by FD Roosevelt’s Public Works of Art Project set up against the backdrop of the Great Depression. The body of work includes portraits, images of rural and urban life and landscapes, and is an evocative snapshot of this economically-straitened period. The Project only lasted 6 months, but resulted in a clutch of great pictures. If you can’t make it to Wisconsin, check them out in our book of the same name.

1934: A New Deal for Artists 1934: A New Deal for Artists Ann Prentice Wagner. Essay by Roger G. Kennedy. Introduction by Elizabeth Broun, Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum

George Catlin’s American Buffalo George Catlin’s American Buffalo Adam Duncan Harris

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