About 5 years ago, I was gifted large posters for the art room. One was an image of a painting by George Catlin.
Upon researching the artist, I learned that after the passage of the 1830 Indian Removal Act, Catlin wanted to preserve the heritage of the Native Americans. He lived with several different tribes, learned their languages, painted portraits and kept records of his visits. He never made any money. He tried to get the governemnet to buy his paintings but they never did. His debts were paid by Joseph Harrison whose widow donated the original paintings and a collection of artifacts to the Smithsonian.
For this lesson, I told the students a little bit about George Catlin and his work through a powerpoint presentation. The students used copies of vintage photographs of Native Americans for reference. The students sketched in pencil then filled in with watercolor paint.