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Re: Yosemite Painting exhibition often includes Indians

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avatar Yosemite Painting exhibition often includes Indians
June 17, 2012 10:49PM
Paintings of Yosemite many times included Indians

Albert Bierstadt painting Paiute Indians in Yosemite

This week in Yosemite there was an exhibition of Yosemite paintings, from the early masters like Thomas Hill, Bierstadt to modern painters. The exhibit is being held in the Indian Museum extension.

We noticed was that the majority of early paintings also included Indians. They were either in the corner of the paintings with beautiful grand vistas in the background or in the center on horses.
Here is one example

Piutes in Yosemite - Thomas Hill painting

The Indians are not the focal point of majority of the paintings, because of the beauty of Yosemite, but they are included as part of the ideal of the Old West.

Up close of the Indians in the painting.

One Artist, Thomas Hill, usually had Native Americans in his paintings. Here is a screen shot of some of Thomas Hill’s paintings that included “Piutes” or Paiutes in his paintings.

Screen capture of Thomas Hill paintins with some smaller representation of some of his other paintings on the right hand side. Note that Hill added "Piutes" and "Indians" in many of his works.

Of course many times the painter, like Thomas Hill, took artistic license in his paintings. This one shows what appears to be Plains Indians, riding horses hunting deer in Wawona.

Here is an upclose of the painting;

As you can see Thomas Hill took artistic license with this painting.

Another painting in the Yosemite National Park exhitibition was by Thomas Laycock shows a scene of Yosemite Valley, and once again there are Indians in the painting.

Thomas Laycock painting of Yosemite Valley

One of us noticed that the man in the Laycock painting looked like the “Piute Captain” in the famous Anthony sterograph photos.

Laycock painting of Indian family and Piute Captain of Yosemite. You can see the feathers on the hat and the scarf that matches the photo on the right. This painting is more realistic because of the clothing and the Paiute cradleboard than the romantized versions which were popular with many painters of that time.

There are so many paintings of grand sweeping vistas of Yosemite Vally, Hetch Hetchy and Wawona with American Indians in the scenes, some in the exhibit, that it is really fascinating to try to examine if one can see more detail of the Indian people.

I highly recomend if you are visiting Yosemite that you try to catch the exhibit of Yosemite painting and many times you will notice the Native Americans somewhere in the older paintings.

Chief Tenaya was the founder of the Paiute colony of Ahwanhee - Dr. Lafayette H. Bunnell.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2012 10:53PM by Yosemite_Indian.
Re: Yosemite Painting exhibition often includes Indians
June 18, 2012 12:44AM
Thanks for the info. I feel ashamed seeing this pictures. Very embarrassing - especially the "hunting scene" and Laycock's valley portrait. Yes, it might be artistic license and times were different then but it's embarrassing nevertheless. However it is remarkable to find Native Americans displayed in those pictures.

And I would call none of these artists "masters". This has to be reserved for the Rembrandts, da Vincis and van Goghs of this world. winking smiley
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