1958 Reiss Portraits

The portraits in the 1940 portfolio, which are mostly static images of Indians sitting for the artist. In contrast, several of the portraits in the 1958 portfolio actually show Indians doing something: making pemmican; beating drums; talking sign language; and making, or at least showing off, beaded bags and ceremonial pipes.


Click to download a 14.2-MB PDF of these portraits.

As previously noted, thirteen of these portraits were new since the Great Northern’s 1935 book on Blackfeet Indians, from which all of the portraits of the 1940 portfolio were taken. Reiss painted “Nobody Has Pity on Me” in 1948, and several others in this portfolio were painted in the 1940s as well.

Unlike the envelope and article by Claude Schaeffer, the brief descriptions of each painting use the term “Blackfeet” instead of the preferred “Blackfoot.” The original of one of the paintings in this portfolio, “The Drummers,” recently sold at auction for $313,600, which is probably a record for a Reiss painting.


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