The expansion of the United States and the displacement of Native Americans were bound up in the idea of Manifest Destiny.
John Wesley Jarvis, Black Hawk and His Son Whirling Thunder
These Indigenous men sat for this portrait during a forced tour of U.S. eastern cities after they were incarcerated as political prisoners
The Mexican-American War
There is no memorial to the Mexican-American War in Washington, D.C.—a war in which more than 15,000 American soldiers lost their lives.
Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Thomas Moran's painting of Yellowstone exemplifies the complex factors that characterized U.S. westward expansion and economic development after the Civil War. Railroads, government policies, and violence against Native American communities were all intertwined with the creation of the first national park.
APUSH: KC-6.2.II.A, KC-6.2.II.D
The painting that inspired a National Park
Painting, photography, and the railroad come together to preserve a topography unique in the world
Envisioning Manifest Destiny
Pioneers and frontiersmen, creating an American mythology amidst the Civil War
Business, art, and the American West
Business or pleasure? Watkins could photograph both beautifully.
This dazzling, prismatic, brilliant cut glass creates a universe of pattern and reflection.
Titus Kaphar, The Cost of Removal
Kaphar’s painting uses defacement as a way of critiquing Andrew Jackson and his role in the Trail of Tears. It makes us consider the role of presidential power, both past and present.
APUSH: KC-4.3.I.B, KC-9.2.II.C
Settling the American Eden, The Oxbow
Not content to merely paint the land, Cole elevated the landscape to approach the status of historical painting.
Custer’s Last Stand — a Lakota view
What most American students learn about as Custer's Last Stand was the last great victory for the Lakota people.
The White Cloud, Head Chief of the Iowas
This dignified portrait of a Native leader belies the cruel treatment he endured at the time of its painting.
The Trail of Tears and The Cost of Removal
Kaphar takes a violent history and renders it visible in this modified portrait of Andrew Jackson.