Early Indiana Artist (1809-1876)
George Winter was born in Portsea, England and came to America in 1830. He studied art at the National Academy of Design in New York and moved to Cincinnati to be near family in 1835. In the spring of 1837, he moved to Logansport, Indiana, where he painted some of his best known work, including portraits of Frances Slocum and her native family. Logansport is situated on the Wabash River, 30 miles northeast of Lafayette.
The Wabash River and its broad valley were Miami hunting grounds since at least 1700. The Wabash and its tributaries are Miami named places. As the Miami and their allies were being dispossessed of their lands in the 19th century, the Miami gathered on a large reserve in current Wabash and Miami counties. When George Winter appeared on the scene, he was in the heart of Miami country.
Through his art, letters, and journals we've been left with a rich source of enthnohistory of the Miami and Pottawatamis. Surprisingly George Winter's materials on the tribes of Indiana display relatively little of the cultural bias of white superiority generally held by many during the 19th century. George Winter's work and correspondence reveals him as a curious student and keen observer of native life and people.
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