Has No Horses, Sioux Indian

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 viewing the grand parade of Buffalo Bill's Wild West troupe en route to Madison Square Garden for several weeks of performances.
Käsebier had spent her childhood on the Great Plains, and retained many vivid, happy memories of playing with nearby Native American children. 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.
Has No Horses appears comfortable in posing for his portraits, seemingly patient as the photographer takes his front view and left and right profiles. He agreed, like many of the other Native Americans visiting Käsebier's studio, to pose in full dress with war bonnet, then without, and a third time with a war club. A blanket, or rug, hangs as a backdrop; the profiles show the heavy wooden studio chair used in the sittings.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
ca 1898
Kasebier, Gertrude
Physical Description
platinum print (overall material)
paper (overall material)
image: 19.9 cm x 14.9 cm; 7 13/16 in x 5 7/8 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Gertrude Kasebier
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Gertrude Kasebier
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Delaney, Michelle. Buffalo Bill's Wild West Warriors: A Photographic History by Gertrude Kasebier

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