We-har-ka, 1849-1855

Not on Viewexpand_more

U.S. Army Captain Seth Eastman was a trained artist who served twice on the frontier at Minnesota’s Fort Snelling, from 1830 to 1832 and again from 1841 to 1848. His extensive firsthand, peaceful encounters with Native Americans gave him extraordinary opportunities to observe their customs and practices, which he documented in his art.

Most of the 35 works on paper by Eastman in Mia's collection relate to an assignment to illustrate a massive survey of Native culture by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, but several watercolors illustrate the writings of Eastman’s second wife, Mary Henderson Eastman. Often these were interpretations of Native stories she collected during her seven-year stay at Fort Snelling. “We-har-ka” was reproduced in an 1852 publication called “The Iris,” along with a story by Mary. It is one of three she published that involve the Native heroine taking her own life.

Artist Life
Accession Number
James J. Hill (St. Paul, 1838-1916); his estate; James Jerome Hill Reference Library St. Paul (by 1921-1994; sold October, to MacMillan); W. Duncan MacMillan, Wayzata (1994-d. 2006); the W. Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Foundation (2006-2014; given to MIA)
Catalogue Raisonne
Seth Eastman: A Portfolio of North American Indians 15
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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