Floyd’s Grave, Where Lewis and Clark Buried Sergeant Floyd in 1804

Sergeant Floyd Monument Historical Marker, Sioux City, Iowa, USA
Oil on canvas
28.6 x 36.6 cm
Smithsonian American Art Museum, gifts of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
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Known primarily as a portrait painter, George Catlin traveled throughout the Midwestern territories of the United States, documenting the Indigenous peoples who lived there. He was so moved by landscapes along the upper Missouri River, however, that he also created numerous minute scenes of the lush natural environments that he encountered. Catlin assembled over 500 of these portraits and landscape sketches into a traveling show that he called his Indian Gallery. These works emphasized the dignity of Native American tribes but also reinforced commonly held notions of their eventual extinction as “noble” savages.