The Briscoe Presents George Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio

Exhibition showcases rare, vibrant images of 19th century Native Americans

The Briscoe Western Art Museum is pleased to present its summer exhibition showcasing a very rare deluxe set of George Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio. This edition of 31 hand-painted color plates is one of only three known sets still in existence. Catlin’s Portfolio is among the most famous color plate books relating to North America’s Native populations produced in the 19th century.

Plate 1. North American Indians.

Plate 1. North American Indians.

George Catlinwas one of the first artists to venture along the western reach of the Missouri River to study and document the Native peoples of the region. From 1832 to 1837, Catlin spent the summer months sketching the tribes of the Great Plains and then finished his pictures in oils during the winter. Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio contains the lithographic prints resulting from his years of painting, living with, and traveling amongst tribes such as the Mandan, Sioux (Lakota), Blackfeet, Crow and several others.  Overall, Catlin painted around 600 highly realistic and powerfully projected portraits of Indians, carefully recording their dress, culture, and way of life.

Plate 5:  Buffalo Hunt, Chase.

Plate 5: Buffalo Hunt, Chase.

In addition to publishing the Portfolio, Catlin also spent from 1837 to 1852 touring the United States, England, France, and Holland, exhibiting his collection of paintings with examples of Native American arts and crafts. He was accompanied by representative members of the Indian tribes he painted during this time. Financial problems in 1852 caused Catlin to lose his collection. He spent his later years making trips to South and Central American, sketching the Native peoples there.

Plate 21:  Ball Players.

Plate 21: Ball Players.

The Briscoe’s Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio exhibition is FREE for members and with paid Museum admission and will be on display from June 23 – September 4, 2017. The exhibition also includes excerpts from the documentary film, Frontier Visionary: George Catlin and the Plains Indians,produced by the Smithsonian American Art Museum1 and a reference reading area. The Briscoe Museum offers extended hours and free admission every Tuesday from 4:00-9:00pm.

1Frontier Visionary: George Catlin and the Plains Indians (Washington, DC: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2002)

About The Briscoe Western Art Museum:

The Briscoe Western Art Museum, named in honor of the late Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. and his wife, Janey Slaughter Briscoe, preserves and presents the art, history and culture of the American West through engaging exhibitions, educational programs and public events reflective of the region’s rich traditions and shared heritage. Located along the San Antonio River Walk, the museum’s campus includes the restored 1930s former San Antonio Public Library building, which now serves as the museum space with nine galleries on three levels; the three-story Jack Guenther Pavilion, used for event rentals and programs; and the outdoor McNutt Sculpture Garden. For more information about The Briscoe Western Art Museum, visit BriscoeMuseum.org, follow on Twitter @BriscoeMuseum or “Like” on Facebook @TheBriscoe.

Briscoe Museum Summer Film Series: Women of the West

Free Summer Film Series Features Complimentary Popcorn and Beer; Food Truck Fare

The Briscoe Western Art Museum presents its fourth annual summer film series, Women of the West. The Western film genre has long been a man’s territory where women are relegated to the sidelines or as one-dimensional characters. These four movies feature strong female protagonists—each complex, unique, and a far cry from a damsel in distress. The film series includes local food truck fare, free popcorn, and complimentary Ranger Creek beer. The Museum remains open until 9:00pm every Tuesday, giving movie goers the chance to visit the galleries before and after each film. Admission is free. The film series is sponsored by the City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture, the Rivard Report, and Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling.

The series kicks off with a classic film starring Joan Crawford:

Johnny Guitar (1954/NR/110 min.)
Tuesday, May 16th | 6:30pm
Strong-willed saloon-casino owner Vienna (Joan Crawford) squares off against her nemesis, the shrieking Emma Small, who wrongly blames Vienna for her brother’s death.
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 | 6:30pm
Jack Guenther Pavilion at the Briscoe Museum, 210 W. Market Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

Upcoming Movies in the Summer Film Series:

Cat Ballou (1965/NR/96 min.)
Tuesday, June 20th | 6:30pm
This musical Western spoof tells the story of a tough schoolmarm (Jane Fonda) who becomes a gunslinger to avenge the death of her father with the help of two charming young misfits and a drunken over-the-hill gun-for-hire. 

Meek’s Cutoff (2011/PG/104 min.)
Tuesday, July 18th | 6:30pm
Set in 1845, this drama follows a group of settlers as they embark on a punishing journey along the Oregon Trail. When their guide leads them astray, the expedition is forced to contend with the unforgiving conditions on the high plain desert.

The Homesman (2014/R/122 min.)
Tuesday, August 15th | 6:30pm
Driven to madness by the harsh realities of pioneer life, three women living on the outskirts of the American frontier are rescued from certain death by a woman (Hilary Swank) who recruits a loathsome drifter (Tommy Lee Jones) to help her transport them to a safe haven in Iowa.

About The Briscoe Western Art Museum:
The Briscoe Western Art Museum, named in honor of the late Texas Governor, Dolph Briscoe, Jr. and his wife, Janey Slaughter Briscoe, preserves and presents the art, history, and culture of the American West through engaging exhibitions, educational programs, and public events reflective of the region’s rich traditions and shared heritage. Located along the San Antonio River Walk, its campus is inclusive of the restored historic 1930s former San Antonio Public Library building which now serves as the Museum space with nine galleries on three levels; the three-story Jack Guenther Pavilion used for event rentals and programs; and the outdoor McNutt Sculpture Garden.  For more information about The Briscoe Western Art Museum, visit our website at BriscoeMuseum.org, follow us on Twitter @BriscoeMuseum or ‘Like’ us on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheBriscoe.