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Richly Colored Indian Portrait

Indian Portrait. MCKENNEY, T. L. & HALL, J./ GREENOUGH, F. W. [Philadelphia, 1838]
NE_O_MON_NE, AN IOWAY CHIEF. 18 5/8 x 13 1/8 inches
Lithograph with rich, original color; light offsetting, else excellent condition.


Striking folio portrait of the Ioway Chief, Ne_O_Mon_Ne (The Cloud from which the Water Comes), enlivened with vibrant period color, from McKenney and Hall’s Indian Tribes of North America, “one of the most important [works] ever published on the American Indians” (Field).
McKenney and Hall’s monumental work attempted to faithfully preserve what was already at the time perceived as a fast vanishing culture and to, at the same time, humanize its subjects. Many of the portraits were based on paintings—now lost—by Charles Bird King—who was employed by the War Department to paint Indian delegates visiting Washington.
Thomas L. McKenney (1785-1859) became aware of the plight of the Western tribes after six years as Superintendent of Indian Trade and later in the Office of Indian Affairs, which was founded in part as the result of his urgings. He traveled extensively among the tribes whose chiefs and leading warriors were depicted in his work. His partner, James Hall (1793-1868), was a lawyer, who had written extensively about the west.

Cf. Field 992; cf. Howes M129; Sabin 43410a.

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