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Prints are from The Aboriginal Portfolio (1835-36, 39, 41) and are approximately 11.5" x 18.5" or 9.5" x 12" in size.

Young Rein Deer Chippeway Chief

Bear's Oil Monomonie Chief


Little Elk Winnebago Chief

James Otto Lewis’ (1799-1858) The Aboriginal Portfolio 1835-36, represents the earliest attempt to publish a collection of portraits of North American Indians and one of the first large projects in American Lithography. Lewis was an engraver and painter in Detroit in 1823 when Governor Cass of Michigan requested that Lewis accompany him, as the official portraitist of the U.S.Indian Bureau, on each of four important treaty expeditions (1825-1827):of the Upper Great Lakes region:
1. In the Michigan Territory at Prarie du Chen.
2. At Fond du Lac on the shore of Lake Superior.
3. At Butte des Morts near Green Bay.
4.In the Indiana Territory near Fort Wayne at the mouth of the Massinewa River.

Lewis reportedly made some 250 portraits and camp sketches from which he produced his groundbreaking work. Many of Lewis’ paintings were acquired by Colonel Thomas McKenny,(1785-1859) the U.S. Superintendent of the Indian Trade and later head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for his famous ”Indian Gallery”. The paintings were housed originally in McKenny’s office on the second floor of the old War Department Building and later in the Smithsonian Institution...McKenny hired the noted Washington painter Charles Bird King to copy the Lewis paintings for his own publication The Indian Tribes of North America 1836-44.