Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined

Peter Rindisbacher, Hunting the Buffalo, nd, hand-colored lithograph, 13 x 17, private collection. Photo: E.G. Schempf.

Peter Rindisbacher, Hunting the Buffalo, nd, hand-colored lithograph, 13 x 17, private collection. Photo: E.G. Schempf.

Westward expansion was one of the most transformational elements in American life throughout the nineteenth century.

Printed imagery played an important role in the dissemination of knowledge and understanding about the West and those who inhabited it. Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined features forty-eight hand-colored engravings and lithographs that explore these depictions and the influence artists had on the perception of the wild west. The works featured in Imprinting the West explore the potent imagery of the time that shaped how the American Indians and the West were understood. Westward expansion in the nineteenth century was intertwined closely with the experiences of American Indian peoples. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 dislocated native populations in the east to areas west of the Mississippi River and was justified by the self-serving claim that the so-called “savages” would wither in the presence of “civilization.” The migration westward and settlement of white Americans only accelerated territorial tensions, which often culminated in bloodshed. Several artists, including George Catlin, aspired to document the appearance and ways of the so-called “vanishing race.” Artists also accompanied governmental geographical surveys of the West, making landscapes and portraits that illustrated official publications.

See the exhibit at West Wyandotte Library September 1 – October 20.


Opening Reception

6:00 pm, September 7, West

Join us for the opening reception for our special exhibit.  Dr. Eric Anderson, Ph.D. Professor of History at Haskell University will be speaking about the exhibit and this time in history at the opening.  Refreshments will be served.

Native American Identity from Past to Present Book Club Series

September-November, West

This book club series presented by Humanities Kansas challenges the stereotypical and fantastical images and stories of Native people and instead presents stories of identity through the lens of Native writers and experiences.

Wyandot in Kansas — Chief Judith Manthe

6:00 pm, September 14, West

Join us for a presentation by Chief Judith Manthe of the Wyandot Nation of Kansas on Wyandot history and her experience growing up Wyandot in Kansas.

Books and MovieS
Westward Expansion

Learn more about Westward Expansion with this list of items available at the library.

Artists of the American West

Learn more about the artists in the exhibit with this list of items available at the library.

Mapping the Wyandot Trail

To honor the history of the Wyandot tribe, the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library has shared their migration story on an interactive map.

William E. Connelley Collection

Part of our Kansas Collection, this contains items related to the Wyandot tribe.

List of Museum Collections

A list of museums with collections of Native American and Western Art.

Thomas Bewick and Wood-Block Printing

An explanation of printmaking using engraving from the Natural History Museum.

Printmaking Processes: Lithography

An explanation of the lithography process from Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Print Making: Etching

An explanation of printmaking using etching from The British Museum.

America in the 1830s and 1840s

In this series of films, co-curator of the exhibition George Catlin: American Indian Portraits, Stephanie Pratt, discusses George Catlin, the Native Americans he painted, and his lasting influence on American history and identity.

Indian Removal Act

The Library of Congress page related to the Indian Removal Act, which allowed the government to forcibly move indigenous people from their land.

Manifest Destiny

The History Channel overview of Manifest Destiny, the belief that white Americans were destined by God to expand the United States’ dominion and spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent.

The Dawes Act

The National Archives page related to the Dawes Act, which allowed the government to break up reservations into individual allotments

National Congress of American Indians

The National Congress of American Indians, founded in 1944, is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.

American Indians

Resources related to native communities from the National Archives, specifically those that reflect their interaction with the U.S. Government.

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