A Checklist of Drawings, Watercolors, and Lithographs by George Catlin and Karl Bodner now in the Ayer Collection of the Newberry Library, Chicago
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The Ayer Collection of the Newberry Library in Chicago has 217 original drawings by George Catlin bound in two volumes, entitled by Catlin, "Souvenir of North American lndians". Although not listed in the public catalogue, they are recorded in the volume entitled, "Art Works in the Ayer Vault". These drawings were given to the Newberry in by Edward A. Ayer. The subject of each of these drawings is identified in George Catlin's hand; Catlin has also provided a short descriptive paragraph on the facing page. The drawings are done in pencil; some are touched with white ink. The page size is 26.5 cm x 35.5 cm. This set of drawings is one of three sets done by Catlin in 1851 and 1852; they are copies and improvements of those sketches, drawings, and oil paintings which Catlin lost through bankruptcy and which were subsequently (in 1881) sold by the heirs of one of the creditors to the Smithsonian Institution. In compiling a check-list of the drawings in the Newberry, I have transcribed Catlin's numbering, listing of tribes, Indian names, and significations. I have provided cross-references to Catlin's illustrations and textual descriptions of the same subjects in his Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition, and to the list of the original collection of Catlin's oil paintings which Thomas Donaldson compiled in his George Catlin Indian Gallery (of 1887).