From 1600 – 1850, artists in England and, later, in North America depicted distinguished Native American tribal leaders, diplomats and warriors to commemorate their significance. Examples include Pocahontas (1617), and nineteenth century Lakota leaders Sitting Bull and Red Cloud.
For many years, these portraits were not properly understood, reducing many of the sitters to simple exemplars of the ‘noble savage’ cliché. In fact, these works are far more interesting once the sitters’ historical situation and agency are restored to them.
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A lecture by Stephanie Pratt recorded on 28 March 2023 at Barnard's Inn Hall, London.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/watch-now/american-portraits
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