Reflections Across Time: Seminole Portraits. Exhibit at the Seminole Tribe Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum. It is really good, but hurry down here and see it because it ends November 4th. Then the exhibit travels to other museums, and I am not sure if it will be in Florida after this.
(Below: the Exhibit catalog.)
When I was in the Army in Germany, I traveled around to many different cities and countries. One of the biggest thrills was to see paintings by the famous masters like Picasso and Monet on the wall in art galleries and museums. The very same paintings that are in hundreds of different books and textbooks that I saw when I was in school. But there on the wall, were the actual paintings, right in front of my eyes. I thought that was really wonderful, and will never get over it.
That is what I thought of with this latest exhibit at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum. Paintings that I have seen only in books or a few that I have reproductions of, like the Catlins or the McKinney Halls. Nothing compares to seeing the originals in their own vivid color. This exhibit has images of these famous artists. Then there are some modern Seminole Artists of the tribe, like Elgin Jumper and (Henehayo) Leroy Osceola. Leroy probably doesn't know me; nor care, but I am a fan of his artwork. He's one of the Trail folks, and that makes me an instant fan.
This collection includes some of the original Catlin paintings of Micanopy's wife, and Osceola. There is the Micanopy painting by Henry Inman after the King painting. There is Robert Curtis' Osceola, said to be one of the best likenesses of him. There is an etching of Neamathla that I have never seen before, that is really good, taken after the image from the McKinney-Hall painting. Captain John Vinton's small pencil sketch portrait of Osceola. You are looking at Vinton's own handwriting.
The modern tribal artists Noah Billie, Leroy Osceola, and a few others have some really good modern interpretations with their paintings. Many of their paintings mix historical themes in modern abstract styles.
Then there is Osceola's beaded bag with Brian Zepeda's beaded bag next to it. (I know Brian's family very well.) What a great honor to see Brian's beaded bag next to Osceola's.
I would love to post some of the images here, but I want all of you to come down to the museum and see for yourself.
(Below: also sold in the museum right now; a reprint of a book of three of McKinney-Halls paintings with descriptions.)
Three Seminole Chiefs from History of the Indian Tribes of North America with Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes, 1836-1844.
Applewood Books, Carlisle, Mass.
And as an added bonus, the book includes a phrenology chart of Yaha Hajo's skull!