Florida’s Seminole Indians earned historical distinction among the southeastern tribes through their bitter resistance to the removal policies of the federal government during the first half of the 19th Century. They waged three turbulent campaigns known as the “Seminole Wars” between 1814 and 1958, fiercely fighting invading U.S. forces, and were the only tribe that refused to sign a surrender treaty.
“Reflections Across Time: Seminole Portraits,” an insightful exhibit at the Frost Art Museum (10975 SW 17th St., Miami), features more than 150 years of portraits of Seminole leaders and tribal members. The works were created by George Catlin, Edward Curtis, and other noted 19th- and 20th-century artists.
The display is complemented by contemporary work by Seminole artists who have contributed a vision of their heritage to illustrate how these historic images have helped inform their modern-day traditions.
The show marks a collaboration between two Smithsonian affiliates — the Frost Art Museum and the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum of the Seminole Tribe of Florida — merging Native American portraiture with Native American ethnographic materials.
Curated by Annette B. Fromm, the show also coincides with National Native American Heritage Month, an observance recently proclaimed by President Barack Obama.
“It explores topics related to Native American portraiture, specifically focusing upon the Florida Seminole,” Fromm explains. “The centerpiece is George Catlin’s enigmatic portrait of Seminole warrior, or tastanagi, Osceola, one of the most recognized 19th-century Seminole leaders. This exhibit brings together a significant collection of original artwork and ethnographic pieces.”
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 25. Continues through Jan. 13, 2012