Another fascinating person from McCullough's book is George Catlin. He was a painter that worked on the Plains Indian paintings and he was indeed prolific in his vast collection of paintings of the Iowas and other Plains tribes. One of the passages in McCullough’s book describes his audience with King Louis-Phillip, who had traveled down the Mississippi and had the same kinds of experiences that Catlin had on the Plains between the Missouri and Ohio wilderness. The King rolled out the red carpet for Catlin’s entourage of Indians and paintings, not unlike a modern day Cirque du Soleil.
P.T. Barnum and General Tom Thumb were also part of the intriguing entertainment for the Parisians.
Catlin brought Indian artifacts in large crates leaving from New Orleans to promise a visual landscape beyond compare for the French who were fascinated by western Indian lifestyle on the plains. The natives performed dances and warlike rituals in the large exposition space for the King, his family and invited guests. Word spread quickly that the show was something not to be missed and Catlin was able to support his family of wife and four children that accompanied him and to continue with his historical event paintings in Paris.
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