DBRL Programs

Western Encounters: Native Americans and the Politics of Expansion the Paintings of George Caleb Bingham
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

During the time of westward expansion in the U.S., Mid-Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham made several paintings involving Native Americans, including "Fur Traders Descending the Missouri," c. 1845, which shows a half-Indian boy with his French father. Nineteenth-century viewers likely saw Bingham’s Native Americans as commentaries on race mixing, Manifest Destiny and the hazards of imperialism. Joan Stack, art curator at the State Historical Society of Missouri, will discuss the often overlooked political messages of these paintings by looking at related political cartoons and other popular culture images of the 1840s.

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