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Wild West: Indians

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 293
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 82 x 185 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 5
Catalogues: K.314; M.308; W.228
Impressions taken from this plate  (5)


circus, grandstand, horse, people, theatre, wild west show.


Both Whistler and later cataloguers used several different titles for this etching, as follows:

'The Orator, Buffalo Bill' (1887/1888, Whistler). 4
'"Wild West" No. 2' (1887/1888, Whistler). 5
'Wild West Indians' (1890/1891, Whistler). 6
Possibly 'Wild West, No. 2' (1887, R.B.A.). 7
'Buffalo Bill, The Orator' (1898, Wunderlich's). 8
'Wild West' (1899, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 9
'Wild West' (1903, Wunderlich's). 10

Whistler and his cataloguers kept using different titles. His first recorded title, 'The Orator, Buffalo Bill' could be confused with the titles used for The Orator, Wild West Show 294, and 'Wild West, No. 2' could apply to any of the Wild West Show etchings.

The inclusion of an American Indian distinguishes this scene from the other etchings of the Wild West Show. Thus the title 'Wild West: Indians', as recorded by Whistler in 1890 (but with added punctuation), is appropriate and clearly differentiates this etching from the other 'Wild West' subjects.

4: Written on .

5: List, [1887/1888], GUW #13233.

6: List, [1890/1891], GUW #13236.

7: London RBA 1887-8 (cat. no. 528).

8: New York 1898 (cat. no. 217).

9: Wedmore 1899[more] (cat. no. 228).

10: New York 1903b (cat. no. 179) 'Wild West'.


A view across an arena, with the roofed grandstand for spectators curving from left to further back at right. In the arena, a man (the 'orator' or narrator) is standing on a raised platform at left and another man - an 'Indian' with a feather in his headdress - stands by a barrier at the right. Near the centre are several men and horses.


The arena at Earl's-Court, Brompton, London, UK. The view is from the same spot as The Bucking Horse, Wild West 295.