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First Sailing of the Griffin on Lake Erie. August 7, 1679
Catlin began his career painting portraits in Philadelphia and New York, including one the governor of New York, DeWitt Clinton. In the 1830s Catlin switched his focus to capture Indian culture and tradition by traveling throughout the western United States. In 1832, while living with Sioux tribe, Catlin discovered his talent for recording detailed history in color on paper.

He continued to paint the history of the Indian people he encountered and even incorporated his ability to paint beautiful portraits. After his travels though the west, Catlin returned to New York to open a gallery with his painting of his explorations through Indian culture. The gallery entitled “Catlin’s Indian Gallery” was an inside look into the life of the Indians in the West. Catlin continued his work with Indian culture by publishing a book in 1841 entitled Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs and Conditions of the North American Indians.

Catlin died in New Jersey in 1872.  


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