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Mister Max | all galleries >> Galleries >> Best and Strangest > Medicine Man (1899) by Cyrus Dallin
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21-APR-2005 Cyrus Dallin

Medicine Man (1899) by Cyrus Dallin

Fairmount Park, Philadelphia

"in 1898 he was working on the second of his major equestrian monuments—"Medicine Man." It won high praise at the Salon of 1899 and was given a place of honor and a gold medal at the great Paris Exposition of 1900. According to reports, several Austrians were empowered to purchase it for their country, only to be disappointed when it was obtained for Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, where it may be still seen today.

"In Dallin's series, the "Medicine Man," unlike the naive chief of the "Signal of Peace," warns that there may be danger in the presence of the white man on Indian lands. The expression on his face and his upraised right hand suggest a solemnly murmured incantation as he watches from his pinnacle as still more white men with their women, children, wagons, and livestock make their way farther and farther into Indian territory. On seeing this statue, spectators were impressed with the strong naturalism combined with the moving sentiment of the group: The former is a forceful image of the red man, without any modeling tricks or display of virtuosity of style; the latter epitomizes the strange, foreboding, yet heroic medicine man. Critics and artists alike had long agreed that the equestrian group was the sculptor's greatest challenge, and in the "Medicine Man" Dallin carried the Indian theme to a truly monumental level of artistry. No one had accomplished that before; other attempts at large-scale Indian subjects had suffered from too great a reliance on picturesqueness. Also the equestrian statue had previously been limited to portraits of military leaders; Dallin expanded the motif to include an American ideal subject filled with all the romance, color, and grandeur befitting a monumental art.

"Dallin returned to the United States in 1900, bringing with him his latest triumph and the silver medal it had won in Paris. He exhibited the "Medicine Man" at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo the following year and at the St. Louis fair in 1904." - from

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Guest 22-Dec-2006 12:08
this is wonderful. thank you so much for including the documentary.