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Catalog Data

Bell, Charles Milton, 1848-1893  Search this
Gill, De Lancey, 1859-1940  Search this
Red Cloud, 1822-1909  Search this
1 Photograph (Opalotype, 24 1/4 x 35 in.)
Box 1
Oglala Lakota (Oglala Sioux)  Search this
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
This collection contains an Opalotype photograph of Red Cloud photographed by Charles Milton Bell in 1880. The photograph was in the collection of the 27th Vice President of the United States, James Schoolcraft Sherman.
Scope and Contents:
P38087 This portrait of Oglala Lakota Chief Red Cloud was photographed by Charles Milton Bell in 1880. The photo is an opalotype (a direct postive photograph on milk glass) that was owned by James Schoolcraft Sherman, the 27th Vice President of the United States. The opalotype was kept in the family and passed down to Sherman's eldest son Sherrill Sherman, who installed it as a window in his home in Clinton, NY. Sherill's son, Sherill Sherman, Jr. then installed the window in his wife's music studio in New Hartford, CT.
This collection is arranged in one box.
Biographical / Historical:
James Schoolcraft Sherman (1855-1912) was the Vice President under William Howard Taft (1908-1912). Prior to being Vice President, he was a Congressman from New York and for twelve years preceding the Vice Presidency, was Chairman of the Commission on Indian Affairs. He was also a collector of Indian artifacts. Charles Milton Bell (circa 1849-1893) operated one of Washington, DC's leading photography studios. In 1880 he invited Oglala Chief Red Cloud, also known as Makhpiya-luta, (1822-1909) and the delegation he was traveling with to his photography studio located on Pennsylvania Avenue. Bell photographed both group and individual portraits. De Lancey Gill, a photographer from the Bureau of American Ethnology, presumably printed one of these Red Cloud portraits on a milk glass plate resulting in an Opalotype.
Donated in 2013 to NMAI in memory of the 27th Vice President, James Schoolcraft Sherman. A gift of the Sherrill Sherman, Jr. family.
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Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to For personal or classroom use, users are invited to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not modified in any way, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian. For more information please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use and NMAI Archive Center's Digital Image request website.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); James Schoolcraft Sherman's photograph of Chief Red Cloud, P38087; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian