This collection contains 44 photographs in a photo album and 12 loose prints that depict American Indian leaders circa 1898 to 1901. The bulk of the photographs were shot at the Indian Congress of the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, 1898 and the Greater America Exposition, 1899, both held in Omaha, Nebraska.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains 44 photographs in a photo album and 12 loose prints that depict American Indian leaders circa 1898 to 1901. The bulk of the photographs depict photographic portraits and scenes of sham battles shot at the Indian Congress of the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in Omaha, Nebraska, from June 1 to October 31, 1898. Frank A. Rinehart (ca. 1862-1928) and his assistant Adolph F. Muhr were the official photographers. During the Indian Congress they photographed more than 500 individuals and groups representing the estimated thirty-six tribes represented at the Exposition. Rinehart shot the majority of the outdoor battles, dance scenes, and events, while Muhr photographed the majority of the delegate portraits. Rinehart copyrighted the photographs under his own name in 1899 and 1900.
Other photographs in this collection are photographic portraits of American Indian leaders that were photographed by Herman Heyn and James Matzen at the Greater America Exposition in Omaha in 1899. Heyn copyrighted the photographs under his own name in 1899.
Finally, the collection also contains 7 loose photomechanical prints depicting portraits by photographer William Henry Jackson. These prints were colorized and published under Jackson's company the Detroit Photographic Co. Other loose color photomechanical prints include portraits shot by photographer William H. Rau (1855-1920) for the Chicago Inter-Ocean Newspaper in 1901.
The photograph titles were assigned by the photographers.
The photographs in the album are in original order. The loose prints are organized into 3 folders.
Biographical / Historical:
Byron Harvey, III (1932-2005) was an anthropologist and collector specializing in southwestern American Indian tribes. He was the great-grandson of Frederick Harvey, best known as the founder of the Fred Harvey Company that ran a successful chain of gift shops, restaurants, and hotels known as Harvey Houses. The Company also amassed a collection of American Indian art and sold many collections to museums including the Museum of the American Indian (NMAI's predecessor museum).
The Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition World's Fair was held in Omaha, Nebraska from June 1 to October 1898. Over 500 Indian delegates from over thirty-five different tribes were present at the Fair. James Mooney (Bureau of Ethnology) and Captain William A. Mercer organized and managed the Indian Congress in conjunction with the Exposition. It included "living exhibitions," with mock Indian villages and demonstrations of dances, daily activities, and sham battles.
The official photographer of the U.S. Indian Congress was Frank A. Rinehart (ca. 1862-1928) with his assistant Adolph F. Muhr (ca. 1858-1913). The Rinehart and Muhr photographs are considered one of the most comprehensive photo documentations of American Indian leaders at the turn of the century.
After the Trans-Mississippi Exposition ended, the Greater America Exposition opened on the same fair grounds from July 1, 1899 to October 31, 1899. Herman Heyn and James Matzen won the contract to be the official photographer of the new Exposition. This Exposition featured many of the same buildings and set up as the Trans-Mississippi Exposition of the previous year.
The Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas has a large collection of Frank Rinehart photographs from U.S. Indian Congress of the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, including the original glass plate negatives.
The National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center also holds other photographs shot by Rinehart and Muhr at Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, including collection NMAI.AC.118.
Donated by Byron Harvey, III in 1966.
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition (1898 : Omaha, Neb.) -- Photographs Search this
Greater America Exposition (1899 : Omaha, Neb.) Search this
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Byron Harvey, III Collection of Exposition and Portrait photographs, P#####; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.