The mural used as the our website banner is based on the painting of “The Trail of Tears” by western artist Robert Lindneux. It tells the story of the forced march of the Cherokees from their homeland in the southeastern United States to Indian Territory in the winter of 1838-39. The painting depicts the Cherokee’s arrival in their new country, which is now northeastern Oklahoma.
The artist, Robert O. Lindneux, was born in New York in 1871 and studied art in Paris and Munich. In Paris he saw Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and returned to the United States to paint in Denver and Montana. Lindneux, who called himself “the historian of the west” scrupulously researched the clothing worn by Cherokees and the soldiers, and the weapons and wagons so the painting would be historically accurate. Lindneux also included lesser known aspects of the Cherokee history such as the use of dogs as pack animals and the presence of African-American slaves. Lindneux, who died in 1970 at the age of 99, frequently lectured on Indians and exhibited his work internationally.
The original oil canvas, painted in 1942, hangs at Woolaroc Museum near Bartlesville. The original is 5’3″ by 3’6″, about two thirds the size of the mural. The painting is on permanent display and is one of the museum’s most popular works. It makes frequent appearances, too, in history books.