“WAR DANCE OF THE SAUKS AND FOXES”: ORIGINAL LITHOGRAPH FROM MCKENNEY AND HALL’S INDIANS
(MCKENNY, Thomas and HALL, James) RINDISBACHER, Peter. War Dance of the Sauks and Foxes. Philadelphia: E.C. Biddle (Childs & Lehman, lithographers), 1834. Original hand-colored lithograph (sheet measures 21 by 15 inches); window matted, entire piece measures 23 by 20 inches. $1800.
Original hand-colored lithograph from McKenney and Hall’s monumental Indian Tribes of North America.
An early specialist in watercolor scenes of frontier life, Swiss-born Peter Rindisbacher is credited as being "the first pioneer artist recording genre of Western Indians" (Samuels, 400). His "War Dance of the Sauks and Foxes" (1834) served as the frontispiece for Volume II of the folio edition of McKenney and Hall's famous History of the Indian Tribes of North America (1838). Thomas McKenney, long-time Superintendent of Indian Affairs under Presidents Madison, Monroe, Adams and Jackson, often dreamt of an Indian Archive, "preserved for the information of future generations and long after the Indians will have been no more." Over a number years, McKenney commissioned paintings which were produced as hand-colored lithographs by several printing houses— among them Childs, Inman, Lehman and Duval. The first volume of McKenney's portfolio was published in February 1837, a culmination of eight years of effort. The book met with great success and subscriptions swelled. This fine hand-colored lithograph of Rindisbacher's Sauk and Fox Dance of the Wabanna was documented by McKenney as "drawn on the spot as the scene was actually exhibited. The actors are persons of some note, and the faces are faithful likenesses" (Horan, 166). It also appeared in Murray's Travels in North America (London, 1839), one of the earliest western travel books.
Impression fine, colors true, lightly embrowned. A handsome print.