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This Gallery Gift Shop deals in Charles Bird King Gift Items,
such as posters/prints, greeting cards, drink/beverage coasters, refrigerator magnets, magnetic refrigerator notepads and Desk/Memo Pads.

The items offered for sale in this shop can be purchased on-line or by visiting

Posters and prints of
Charles Bird King Art.

Refer to: "PDA01010"
Petalesharro (Generous Chief), Pawnee.
by Charles Bird King

Charles Bird King completed a number of paintings that invoked Dutch painting techniques but he is better known as an important figure in the 19th-century United States art world for his numerous portraits of Native Americans, commissioned by the federal government. He was also commissioned by the government for portraits of celebrated war heroes, and privately by the political elite, all to portray important men before the time of photography.

In 1821 Charles Bird King received a commission from Thomas McKenney—then U.S. Superintendent of Indian Trade, later head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs—to preserve the likenesses of Native American leaders visiting the capitol. Thomas McKenney, who served as the United States superintendent of Indian trade in Georgetown and later as the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, initiated the government's commissioning of the portraits. Like many others, at the time he believed that the indigenous people were nearing extinction, and he was seeking ways to preserve their history and culture. King painted the subjects in his own studio, as McKenney easily obtained the consent for the portraits from Native American leaders coming to Washington to do business with the US through his new department. King’s 20-year role in painting works for the collection was profitable for the artist. He charged at least $20 for a bust, and $27 for a full-figure portrait, allowing him to collect an estimated $3,500 from the government.

After the administration changed and McKenney left the BIA, the agency donated the Native American portrait collection to the National Institute, but shoddy care and displays kept it from the public eye. When the National Institute deteriorated, it gave its work in 1858 to the Smithsonian Institution. King's portraits were displayed among similar paintings by the New York artist John Mix Stanley, in a gallery containing a total of 291 paintings of Native American portraits and scenes. On January 24, 1865 a fire destroyed the paintings in this gallery, though a few of King’s were saved before the flames spread. Representations of many of the lost paintings have been found in McKenney’s lithograph collection that supported the book.

Posters & Prints of
Charles Bird King Art

These Giclee prints are printed on a heavy weight matte paper and fit STANDARD Frames
(NO Custom Frames required)

Item# Item description
Petalesharro (Generous Chief), Pawnee.
More Information on print prices, available sizes and print options.
Young Omahaw, War Eagle, Little Missouri, and Pawnees.
More Information on print prices, available sizes and print options.
Qua-Ta-Wa-Pla (Shawanoe Chief).
More Information on print prices, available sizes and print options.
Le Soldat Du Chene (an Osage Chief).
More Information on print prices, available sizes and print options.

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Posters and Prints of Charles Bird King's Art available from www.my-art-gems.com