Luce Center Label: “The Begging Dance is a frequent amusement, and one that has been practiced with some considerable success at this time, whilst there have been so many distinguished and liberal visitors here. It is got up by a number of desperate and long-winded fellows, who will dance and yell their visitors into liberality; or, if necessary, laugh them into it, by their strange antics, singing a song of importunity, and extending their hands for presents, which they allege are to gladden the hearts of the poor, and ensure a blessing to the giver.” George Catlin initially sketched this scene at a Sac and Fox village in 1835. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 56, 1841; reprint 1973)
Object number: 1985.66.439
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 19 5/8 x 27 1/2 in. (49.7 x 70.0 cm)
See more items in: Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department: Painting and Sculpture
Credit Line: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
Restrictions & Rights: CC0