Scene on the Wabash

 
Other title
Indians along the Wabash
Artist
Creation date
Materials
oil on canvas
Mark Descriptions
signed and dated on reverse: Scene on the Wabash / Vicinity of Logansport, Indiana / Painted by Geo Winter / 1848
Dimensions
29 x 36 in. 35 x 41-7/8 in. (framed)
Credit line
Bequest of Judge Paul H. Buchanan, Jr.
Accession number
2009.290
Collection
Currently On View In
William L. Fortune Gallery - K211

Here, a group of Potawatomi Indians gather next to the Wabash River. The figures are posed in a casual setting, reflecting Winter’s goal to record the daily life and customs of these people.

Winter was born in England and came to America in 1830 to study in New York. In 1837 he moved to Logansport, Indiana.

 

The artist; Blackburn family, San Francisco; Blackburn Estate; (Atelier Dore, San Francisco); (Gerald Peters Gallery, Jackson Hole, Wyoming); Paul H. Buchanan, Jr. [1918-2008], Indianapolis, Indiana; given by bequest to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2009 (TR10964).
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Indiana

George Winter

Scene on the Wabash, about 1848

oil on canvas

29 x 36 inches

Bequest of Paul H. Buchanan, Jr.

Learn More

George Winter was born in England, where he studied four years at the Royal Academy before coming to America in 1830 to continue his art education in New York. In 1835 he took up residence in Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon hearing of the plight of northern Indiana’s Potawatomi Indians, who were being removed to Kansas in what became known as “Potawatomi Trail of Death,” Winter settled in Logansport, Indiana to document their culture.  After thirteen years in Logansport, he moved to Lafayette, Indiana, and then spent three years in California.  Shortly after his return to Indiana in 1876, Winter died suddenly. Although he is known primarily for documenting the relocation of the Potawatomi and Miami tribes, Winter was a writer whose prose not only convey the anguish of the relocation but also the beauty of the surrounding countryside. Winter is also known for his documentation of the life of Frances Slocum, a Quaker child who was abducted by Indians and later became the wife of the tribe’s chief. 

The IMA collection contains several paintings by George Winter two of which are titled Scene on the Wabash.  Both of these works portray a group of Potawatomi Indians gathered next to the Wabash River. The figures are posed in a casual setting, reflecting Winter’s goal of recording the daily life and customs of these people. This particular painting concentrates on family activities, particularly women washing clothes in the Wabash.  It exemplifies the type of gathering of the Potawatomi that established Winter’s reputation as an artist.

Reference

Kitty Dye. Meet George Winter: Pioneer Artist, Journalist, Entrepreneur, St. Louis, MO: LeClere Publishing Company, 2001.  ISBN-13: 978-0970250117