Monday, March 14, 2016

A special painting for Gilcrease Museum

John Mix Stanley at the Grand Council
The painting I'm doing for the Gilcrease Museum is going to be special, Here's the premise:

When the Cherokee were forced to Oklahoma by the Trail of Tears they found they were surrounded by other tribes very hostile to them. The Osage in particular preyed on them. John Ross, Cherokee leader, decided to call a Grand
Council of all the tribes. It took place in Tahlequah during the summer of 1843. Many tribes did attend, including the "nearly naked Osage". Also there was Zachary Taylor, Sequoyah (wrote the Cherokee alphabet), and artist John Mix Stanley.
Stanley painted a scene of the entire assemblage in the pavilion.
In researching this, I went to the old newspaper accounts and found out some interesting new facts.
*Not only was Stanley there painting, he had an assistant helping him to take Daguerreotypes of the people. This excited Duane King of the Gilcrease Museum because it might have been the first photographs of Native Americans. Also, he knows of Daguerrotypes of the
period that may have been shot by Stanley.

*Stanley probably painted or did sketches for his "OSAGE SCALP DANCE" painting. One account said the Osage entertained the crowd with a dance. (We don't think Stanley ever visited the Osage home)
*At least one newspaper writer thought this meeting was ominous and was intended to unite the tribes against the USA.
My painting will show Stanley painting a portrait of an Indian under an awning with the Pavilion in the background and his assistant using the camera. Variously dressed Indians will be shown. I am painting it the same size as Stanley's painting of the Grand Council.


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