Native American culture featured in exhibition at AU’s Jule Collins Smith Museum

AUBURN – “The Indian Gallery of Henry Inman, ” an exhibition featuring 19th century Native American culture, will be on view from Aug. 16 through Nov. 8 at Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.

The collection of paintings, prints and artifacts represents Southeastern Creek and Cherokee leaders and warriors and includes more than a dozen original oil paintings by artist Henry Inman.

Inman was born in Utica, N.Y., in 1801 and although he was noted for his portraits of well-known and socially prominent people, he gained equal renown as an exacting chronicler of American Western history, primarily through his replicas of a series of North American Indian portraits.

Commissioned as faithful copies of earlier works by Charles Bird King and others, Inman’s oil paintings served as the models from which an important portfolio of lithographic reproductions were drawn and printed, thus preserving a significant record of Native American culture.

Accompanied by several of the corresponding lithographs and beaded garments as comparisons to those depicted in the portraits, these remarkable paintings offer a compelling look at a pivotal moment in history.

In conjunction with The Indian Gallery of Henry Inman, Auburn University history professor Kathryn H. Braund will present the lecture “Leading Men: The 1826 Treaty Delegates,” on Oct. 16, at 5 p.m. at the museum. Braund’s research focuses on the ethno-history of the Creek and Seminole Indians in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Braund has edited several books and published many articles on this subject.

The exhibition, originally organized by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, was made possible through the generous support of Tom and Ann Cousins.

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University is Alabama’s only university art museum. Serving as the gateway to Auburn University, the museum is home to more than 100 Audubon prints, a collection of more than 40 rare Tibetan bronzes dating from the 14th to the 20th century and works by important American artists including Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe and Lyonel Feininger. For more information, go to or call (334) 844-1484.

(Contributed by Colleen Bordeau.)

Contact: Colleen Bourdeau, (334) 844-7075 (, or
Mike Clardy (334) 844-9999 (

Oche-Finceco (Family Muskhogean-Tribe, Half Breed), Henry Inman, Oil on canvas, Private collection
Yaha-Hajo (Mad Wolfe), Henry Inman (American, 1081-1846), Oil on canvas, Private collection