GRAND HAVEN, Mich. – Sean O'Neill, PhD will present his program titled "Picturing American Indians in the early 19th century: Putting Charles Bird King's portraits of Indian people into their early 19th Century historical context" on Wednesday, Aug. 13 at the Loutit District Library at 7 p.m.
Dr. O’Neill states that in 1821, Charles King (1785-1862) received a commission from his friend, Thomas L. McKenney, Superintendent of Indian Trade, to paint portraits of eight Western Indians brought to Washington D.C. to meet the U.S. President. By 1837, Charles had painted about 90 portraits, when Thomas L. McKenney created the National Indian Portrait Gallery.
The gallery was transferred to the Smithsonian and, all but three were lost in the great fire of 1865. Fortunately, many of the paintings exist in copies that King had made and in lithographs published in 1836-1844.