george catlin

Starting in the 1820s, George Catlin (1796-1872) dedicated himself to paint and record American Indians and their customs before what he was convinced would be their imminent destruction. The first professional painter to go West, Catlin sketched members of many Indian tribes, including the Sioux, Osage, and Comanche, and was the only artist to draw portraits of several tribes that would soon be extinct. His Letters and Notes on the North American Indians, first published in 1841, is a classic study of the traditions of these great peoples.

Soon after Catlin’s death, his remains were brought to Green-Wood for interment in the lot of his in-laws, the Gregorys, They had made the gravestone of Catlin’s wife (and their daughter) Clara the centerpiece of their lot. But they had long been unhappy with George and interred him at the back of their lot. It wasnt until 1961, almost a century after his death, that a simple gravestone was placed to mark the final resting place of the man whom many credit as the father of the art of the American West