Studies of Native American Leaders Made at Fort Laramie

Albert Bierstadt American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 760

Bierstadt arrived at Fort Laramie, in present-day Wyoming, as a member of the expedition to the western portion of the Nebraska Territory with Colonel Frederic W. Lander in June 1859, during a time of tense relations between the Lakota (Teton Sioux) and the United States government. Bierstadt made vivid field sketches of the Native peoples he encountered there, including this powerful depiction of four leaders. The artist intently observed and recorded the clothing and physiognomy of each man, inscribing each one’s name below his head. In the foreground of the major painting that resulted from this trip, "The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak" (07.123), several of the male figures at the lower right may have been inspired by the present study.

Studies of Native American Leaders Made at Fort Laramie, Albert Bierstadt (American, Solingen 1830–1902 New York), Oil and graphite on paper, American

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