Wife of American Horse, Sioux Indian, cropped profile

Description
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.
The portrait of the wife of American Horse is the only example of an individual Sioux woman photographed with the Wild West group in Käsebier's studio. Families of the men performing with the show were allowed to accompany them and live in the camp. The women tended to family needs, including mending clothes, producing beadwork, and making moccasins.
Location
Currently not on view
Date made
ca 1898
maker
Kasebier, Gertrude
Physical Description
platinum print (overall material)
paper (overall material)
Measurements
image: 20.1 cm x 9.1 cm; 7 15/16 in x 3 9/16 in
ID Number
PG*69.236.088
accession number
287543
catalog number
69.236.088
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Gertrude Kasebier
Photography
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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