Sioux Indians on the Plains

In 1898 New York photographer Gertrude Käsebier (1852-1934) embarked on a deeply personal project, creating a set of prints that rank among the most compelling of her celebrated body of work. Käsebier was on the threshold of a career that would establish her as both the leading portraitist of her time and an extraordinary art photographer. Her new undertaking was inspired by her first viewing the grand parade of Buffalo Bill's Wild West troupe en route to Madison Square Garden for several weeks of performances. She quickly sent a letter to William "Buffalo Bill" Cody (1846-1917), requesting permission to photograph in her studio the Sioux Indians traveling with the show. Within weeks, Käsebier began a unique and special project: photographing the Indian men, women, and children, formally and informally. Friendships developed, and her photography of these Native Americans continued for more than a decade.
While Gertrude Käsebier primarily photographed her Native American subjects in the studio, there are existing photographs among her personal collection showing the Dakota Sioux Indians in the West, probably an area within their Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, about 1900. To date, no correspondence has emerged regarding a trip for Käsebier to the Great Plains.
Currently not on view
Date made
ca 1898
Kasebier, Gertrude
Place Made
United States: New York, New York
Physical Description
platinum print (overall production method/technique)
paper (overall material)
overall: 17 cm x 21 cm; 6 11/16 in x 8 1/4 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Mina Turner
Native Americans
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Gertrude Kasebier
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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