Unexpected Finds

     While digging through old Indian Agent correspondence in the National Archives, I found a letter with a famous signature – N.C. Wyeth. On September 4, 1904 he wrote from Wilmington, Delaware to the “Government Agent of the Ute Indian Reservation.” Wyeth stated his purpose:

To come directly to the point – I am an illustrator – and intensely interested in the “Indian.” I desire this fall to take a trip to your reservation for the purpose of pictureing or “writing up” any of the dances, feasts, or sports that may take place this fall.

     I made a photocopy of the letter and contacted the curator of the N.C. Wyeth museum. She confirmed that Wyeth did make a trip west that fall and set up a studio in Denver for a period of time. We found no evidence that he did any sketching on the Ute reservation.
     The experience reminds me that in research it pays to look carefully at every document available.

Published in: on April 17, 2009 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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