Object Image

One Horn, Head Chief of the Miniconjou Tribe, Teton Dakota (Western Sioux)

George Catlin made several trips west in the 1830s with the hope of "visiting every tribe…for the purpose of procuring portraits of distinguished Indians." Near Fort Pierre, in present-day South Dakota, he met and painted the portrait of One Horn, a chief of the Miniconjou. One Horn dressed to convey his status as a powerful leader. His shirt is elaborately ornamented with porcupine quillwork and pictographs celebrating his military achievements. His face is painted red, the color of life. Around his neck hangs a horn-shaped talisman shell, from which he chose his name. Catlin depicted One Horn sitting at a slight angle but looking directly at the viewer, a pose that emphasizes the chief's regal position and physical bearing.

Promised gift of Paul DeBruce

1830-1832
Oil on canvas
28.1 x 23.2in
40.2012.2
Image and text: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023

Where you'll find this

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Permanent collection