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According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “In planning his nostalgic image of one of the vanishing tribes of the Pacific Northwest confronting the unseen white man, MacNeil took care to ensure ethnographic accuracy and scrupulously studied details of dress. Because the figure of the chief was particularly admired, MacNeil modeled it on a smaller scale and issued it as a statuette, of which some twenty were cast in bronze. Titled A Chief of the Multnomah Tribe, the subject is represented in a dignified standing pose with head raised defiantly and arms folded across the chest. The model wears a feathered headdress and a bow and quiver of arrows not present in the original group. Jean Holden, the artist’s biographer, wrote in 1903: ‘Superstitious, without experience, and without a common language, Multonomah [sic] meets the stranger like a brave man who feels the inviolability of the human soul and dares the rest. From the crown of his head to the sole of his well-planted foot, he shows no excitement.’”

PROVENANCE:
[The Latendorf Bookshop, New York, New York]
Private Collection, Arizona, 1961

LITERATURE:
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History on-line publication (New York, NY : Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000), example illustrated 39.65.54
Carol Clark, “Indians on the Mantel and in the Park” The American West in Bronze 1850-1925 (New York, NY : Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013), page 45, example illustrated

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