Spotted-Tail, Sioux Indian

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.

Spotted Tail, his wife, and son stand before two tipis in Buffalo Bill's Wild West village, about 1898, in this photograph by Gertrude Käsebier. Each tipi is painted with drawings significant to the family or tribe. Spotted Tail stands, a traditional Sioux blanket wrapped at his waist. His wife's dress is adorned with elk teeth and a beaded scarf. The boy, leans close to his father, looking warily at the photographer.

Date Made: ca 1898

Maker: Kasebier, Gertrude

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: ChildrenNative Americans

Subject:

See more items in: Work and Industry: Photographic History, Gertrude Kasebier, Photography

Exhibition:

Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: Delaney, Michelle. Buffalo Bill's Wild West Warriors: A Photographic History by Gertrude Kasebier

Credit Line: Mina Turner

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PG.69.236.013Accession Number: 287543Catalog Number: 69.236.013

Object Name: platinum print

Physical Description: platinum print (overall production method/technique)paper (overall material)Measurements: image: 17.5 cm x 12.3 cm; 6 7/8 in x 4 13/16 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a8-a532-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1005368

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