Artist: Peter Stephenson
Title: The Wounded Indian, 1848-1850
35 1/8 x 59 x 31 in. (89.2 x 149.9 x 78.7 cm)
Gift of James H. Ricau and Museum purchase
Bending forward in pain from the wound in his side, the fallen warrior holds a clue to what has happened. Looking carefully, you will see that his injury comes from an arrow and not a bullet. To viewers in the mid 1800s, this sculpture supported the popular belief that settlers were not to blame for the disappearing American Indian. During this time, the United States government forced many American Indians to leave their lands as the country expanded westward. Peter Stephenson saw this firsthand while growing up in Michigan. His choice of marble, a material used by Greek and Roman artists to honor gods, warriors, and athletes, shows us that the artist had respect for the American Indian.