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George Catlin’s American Buffalo

George Catlin, courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum

On five trips to the American frontier in the 1830s, artist and writer George Catlin chronicled American Indians of the Great Plains in hundreds of colorful, detailed paintings. Forty of those works make up the Smithsonian Art Museum Touring Exhibition George Catlin’s American Buffalo, which the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon hosts until August 30, 2015. Depicting bison, American Indian hunters, and tribal culture, Catlin’s paintings capture life on the Great Plains shortly before American settlement and government policy ushered in irrevocable changes.

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