Brewett, A Celebrated Miami Chief
FROM The Aboriginal Portfolio,
or a collection of portraits of the most celebrated
Chiefs of the North American Indians.
CONDITION Lithograph with original hand color.
Published by Lehman & Duval, Phila.
Sheet size: 14 x 16 inches.
The United States government commisioned Lewis to attend councils, treatys and ceremonies, in the early 19th century. A self taught artist, Lewis made first hand watercolor sketches of the people he met and the events he witnessed. Lewis published his drawings in the Aboriginal Portfolio in 1835-36. Often compared to the McKenney and Hall work on American Indians, some of McKenneys portraits are actually based on Lewis's drawings. Lewis's work is considered the first colorplate book of native American subjects. Exceedingly rare, the Aboriginal Portfolio remains an important record of tribal leaders of that time. The originals burned in a tragic fire at the Smithsonian in 1865, so these lithographs have become an important historic record of tribal leaders.