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Lewis, James Otto – 019


SKU: lewis-019 Category:
  • Work: The Aboriginal Portfolio, or a Collection of Portraits of the Most Celebrated Chiefs of the North American Indians
  • Description: A Distinguish’d Pottowattomie Chief
  • Date: 1835-1836
  • Condition of Plate: Overall very good. There is light wear at the right and lower edge. There is mended tear at the bottom edge that would mat out. There is an extremely faint, vertical line in the upper margin.
  • Condition of Work: Overall very good.
  • Paper Size: 11.5″ by 18.25″
  • Image Size: NA

James Otto Lewis’s The Aboriginal Portfolio

The outstanding prints in The Aboriginal Portfolio depict North American Indians in the early 1800s. It was published by Lehman & Duval of Philadelphia between 1835 and 1836. The work was a first on many fronts. It was the first collection of portraits of North American Indians, preceding the work of both Caitlin and McKenney & Hall. It is one of the first large works to deal with a subject(s) beyond the East Coast. And finally, it was one of the earliest large projects in American lithography.

Lewis accompanied Michigan Govenor Lewis Cass on four Indian treaty expeditions in the Great Lakes regiosn from 1825 to 1827. He painted Indians during each excursion. It is those images that make up most of The Aboriginal Portfolio. Like McKenney & Hall’s work, Lewis’s original paintings for this work were destroyed in the Smithsonian fire of 1865.
The prints are on fine wove paper measuring approximately 11 1/2″ by 18 1/4″.

Dimensions 11.5 × 18.25 in


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