Drawing the Western Frontier: The James E. Taylor Album
One of the National Anthropological Archives most important albums, "Our Wild Indians in Peace and War," is featured in a new online exhibit about the work of James E. Taylor, a 19th century illustrator who accompanied Gen. William T. Sherman as a Civil War artist and later produced illustrations for Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. Taylor's personal scrapbook contains images of Western personalities, military activities, gold mining, and daily life in Native American, Chinese, Latino and Mormon communities, as well as his own drawings, newspaper clippings, letters and autographs. The exhibit can be viewed online at our website.
"Drawing the Western Frontier" includes original tintypes of Wild Bill Hickok, an early image of Buffalo Bill Cody, photographs by Adrian Ebell taken before the Sioux Revolt of 1862, Elizabeth Custer's favorite portrait of her husband, and other famous Western personalities. While Taylor's drawings based upon these images informed a curious public about life in the West, they also fostered stereotypes of Native Americans, many of which can be examined through the online exhibit. "Drawing the Western Frontier" links to an online catalog of 748 digital images and a selection of original album pages that show how Taylor assembled his vast personal collection of photographs, illustrations and Western memorabilia.
The Smithsonian's National Anthropological Archives collects and preserves historical and contemporary anthropological materials that document the world's cultures and the history of anthropology. Additional online exhibits are available on its web site: www.nmnh.si.edu/naa
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