William Vernon in Chicago American: Among the Shawnee Indians is a very old chief who resembles George Washington so much that he Is called 'Long Tom' Washington. He is the only remaining chief of his tribe and has a name long enough to last him the rest of his life. He is only in his nineties now, is Lo-Waim-Wagskekah, the greatgrandson of Tecumseh. His portrait, together with those of many other chiefs, is on exhibition at the Thurber galleries on Wabash Avenue.

E A Burbank's actual exhibit of Indian portraits is attracting more than ordinary attention, for not only are art lovers interested in the skillfully painted heads, but educators as well. Ethnologically considered, these portraits are of priceless value, for another generation and the American Indian - the artistic American Indian - will be but a memory. In his place will be the half-breed, with store clothes and the educated Indian from Carlisle


An artist may spend a third of his life in studying and painting a vast variety of things, and then, by a combination of circumstances, stumble onto the very thing his talents and study have best fitted him for. Elbridge Ayer Burbank is an Indian painter, although it is but a few years since he began to paint the American aborigine.

It is not generally known how he came to try his brush upon the redmen, but it came about in this wise: Mr. Burbank had been a Munich man - that is, his artistic education was not Parisian. Twenty years ago art students either went to Paris or to Munich, today they all go to Paris.

Mr. Burbank came back from Munich with surprising ability to paint details and texture - the corner of his studio with a couch banked with pillows of many hues, a pretty woman, a Persian rug would captivate his fancy, then still life held him for a time, and even flowers - then he took to painting colored children. Old mammy and Uncle Tom types of the southern negro, but always introducing a bit of bright color, as his well-known little colored boy holding an American beauty rose, or his little pickaninny with her hair done up in bright curl papers, or her sister contented with a stick of red and white peppermint candy.

One year he went down to Arkansas to paint colored children, and he met his fate. He saw the American Indian masquerading with his war bonnet, beaded shirt and buckskin leggins (sic leggings).

E. E. Ayers (sic Ayer), at that time president of the Field museum, owned privately what has been generally conceded the most complete collection at Indian relics, costumes, pottery, utensils, decorations and trophies in the world.

Now, Mr. Burbank chanced to be a nephew of Mr. Ayer and Mr. Ayer opened the way for the now famous Indian painter by giving him commissions for the portraits of some of the best known chiefs of the Apaches, Moquis, Navajoes, Utes, Arapahoes, Sioux and Cheyennes.


The experiences of Mr. Burbank during his first year's work were hazardous and ofttimes perilous, but gradually he won the confidence of his subjects and returned with a dozen chiefs, squaws and papooses, which formed his first collection.

His success was instantaneous, and it may be said with truth that Mr. Burbank started the Indian craze which swept over the north and east two or three yean ago.

The Indian country has since been ransacked and all the old rugs and blankets, baskets, bows, arrows, pottery, beaded wampum bags, etc., have been bought up by speculators, and a manufacturer from the Wooden Nutmeg state has just put upon the market a Navajos rug for $2.50.

Verily, Mr. Burbank, this is indeed your work as well.

The present exhibition consists of portraits of Arapahoe, Zuni, Apache, Kickapoo, Cheyenne, Ute, Shawnee, Modoc, Ottawa, Sac and Fox types, a greater number of tribes being represented than in any of Mr. Burbank's previous exhibitions.

Daily Review (Decatur, IL)

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