It is with the greatest pleasure that we introduce to you our latest catalog highlighting our extraordinary collection of portraits of Native Americans by McKenney and Hall. Thomas McKenney was Superintendent of Indian Affairs from 1816 until 1830, and one of a very few government officials to defend American Indian interests. When a large delegation of Indians came to see President Monroe in 1821, McKenney commissioned the portraitist Charles Bird King to paint the principal delegates, dressed in costumes of their choice. Many of the most prominent Indian leaders of the nineteenth century were among King’s sitters, including Sequoyah, Red Jacket, Major Ridge, Cornplanter, and Osceola.
McKenney later worked with James C. Hall, a Cincinnati judge and novelist, to compile copies of King’s portraits and produce History of Indian Tribes of North America in 1836. Most of King’s original portraits were subsequently destroyed in a fire at the Smithsonian in 1865, so their appearance in McKenney and Hall’s publication is the only record of the likenesses of many of the most prominent Indian leaders of the nineteenth century:
These hand-colored lithographs by McKenney and Hall remain as the most complete and colorful record of the native leaders who made the long journey to Washington to speak for their people. Please call Arader Galleries San Francisco location at 415.788.5115 to receive the catalog. There is also a great display of McKenney and Hall lithographs hanging at the San Francisco 432 Jackson Street location.