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Catalog Data

Kasebier, Gertrude  Search this
Physical Description:
platinum print (overall production method/technique)
paper (overall material)
overall: 15.7 cm x 11.4 cm; 6 3/16 in x 4 1/2 in
Object Name:
platinum print
Date made:
ca 1898
In addition to photographing the Sioux performers sent by Buffalo Bill Cody to her studio, Käsebier was able to arrange a portrait session with Zitkala Sa, "Red Bird," also known as Gertrude Simmons (1876-1938), a Yankton Sioux woman of Native American and white mixed ancestry. She was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, like many of the Sioux traveling with the Wild West show. She was educated at reservation schools, the Carlisle Indian School, Earlham College in Indiana, and the Boston Conservatory of Music. Zitkala Sa became an accomplished author, musician, composer, and dedicated worker for the reform of United States Indian policies.
Käsebier photographed Zitkala Sa in tribal dress and western clothing, clearly identifying the two worlds in which this woman lived and worked. In many of the images, Zitkala Sa holds her violin or a book, further indicating her interests. Käsebier experimented with changing backdrops, including a Victorian floral print, and photographic printing. She used the painterly gum-bichromate process for several of these images, adding increased texture and softer tones to the photographs.
Currently not on view
Native Americans  Search this
Women  Search this
Related Publication:
Delaney, Michelle. Buffalo Bill's Wild West Warriors: A Photographic History by Gertrude Kasebier
Credit Line:
Mina Turner
ID Number:
Accession number:
Catalog number:
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Work and Industry: Photographic History
Gertrude Kasebier
Data Source:
National Museum of American History