The Florence Pulford collection includes both audio recordings and photographs that were made during the twenty years Pulford worked among Native American quilt makers in the 1970's and 1980's from Montana and the Dakotas. Quilt makers featured in this collection include; Ella First Kill Brown, Frances Weasel Woman Fox, Artie Crazy Bull, Almira Buffalo Bone Jackson and Regina Brave Bull.
Scope and Contents:
The Florence Pulford collection includes both audio recordings and photographs that were made during the twenty years Pulford worked among Native American quilt makers from Montana and the Dakotas. The bulk of the audio recordings, comprising of 65 audiocassettes, are interviews Pulford conducted with Native quilt makers on the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap reservations. Many of the interviews are with quiltmaker Almira Buffalo Bone Jackson and artisan Juanita Tucker. Topics range from the craft of quilt making to life and politics on the reservation. The photographs, which include negatives, slides and prints, contain images of quilts and quilt makers from the Fort Belknap, Fort Berthold, Fort Peck, Rocky Boys and Standing Rock reservations. Quilt makers include; Ella First Kill Brown, Frances Weasel Woman Fox, Artie Crazy Bull, Almira Buffalo Bone Jackson and Regina Brave Bull. Although the majority of the photographs depict quilts or quilt making, there are images of various landscapes and events Pulford visited as well as photographs of Pulford herself.
This collection has been arranged into two series, Series 1:Audiocassettes, 1978-1985, and Series 2:Photographs, 1968-1989. Series 2 is then divided into six subseries; Subseries 2a: Fort Belknap Reservation, Subseries 2b: Fort Berthold Reservation, Subseries 2c: Fort Peck Reservation, Subseries 2d: Rocky Boys Reservation, Subseries 2e: Standing Rock (Fort Yates) Reservation, Subseries 2f: Unidentified and Other.
Biographical / Historical:
Florence Pulford, nee Atwood, was born in Idaho in 1923. Pulford eventually settled in California with her husband and daughters and frequented Bar 717, a camp and working ranch, located in the Trinity Mountains of Northern California. It was while working as the director of the arts and crafts program at the Bar 717 camp when she first became acquainted with Frank Ereaux (Gros Ventre) and his family in 1968. Ereaux who had been working with horses on the ranch, invited Pulford to visit his family on the Fort Belknap reservation in Montana. During this visit Pulford received a quilt as a gift which launched a life-long interest in the quilts of the Plains tribes. Pulford began buying fabric and materials in California to send back to Native artisans in Fort Belknap, Fort Peck and other Montana reservations. Eventually Pulford built relationships with quilters that spanned into North and South Dakota reservations including Fort Berthold and Standing Rock (Fort Yates). In addition to purchasing quilts, Pulford would often snap pictures and record audio interviews about life on the reservation. Pulford would also sell quilts, using the proceeds to buy more fabrics and sending the remaining profits to the quilters. Pulford became very friendly with several quilters but developed a particularly close relationship with Almira Buffalo Bone Jackson, a member of the Red Bottom band of the Fort Peck Assiniboine, and prolific quilter. Almira and Florence kept up a strong correspondence up until Florence's death in 1989 and the age of 65.
In addition to visiting and working with Native quilters, Pulford gave lectures and put together exhibitions on Native American quilt work in Montana and the Dakotas at major museums and universities. Pulford's book, Morning Star Quilts, was published in 1989 by Leone Publishing with assistance from Diana Leone. The book illustrates the work of individual quilt makers as well as highlights the cultural and ceremonial significance of quilts among the Plains peoples. Following Pulford's death, daughters Ann Wilson and Sarah Zweng offered their mothers quilt collection, as well as supporting photographs and audio recordings, to the National Museum of the American Indian. The collection was acquired by NMAI in 2007.
Florence Pulford's quilt collection is now a part of NMAI's Modern and Contemporary Arts collection with catalog numbers 26/6034-26/6391. For access and information about these quilts please contact NMAICollections@si.edu.
This collection was donated by Ann Pulford Wilson and Sarah Pulford Zweng, daughters to Florence Pulford, in 2007.
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).
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to email@example.com.
Photographs collected by Willis G. Tilton, a dealer in artifacts and photographs relating to American Indians. Many of the photographs were made by Field Columbian Museum photographer Charles Carpenter at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904; many others were created by various photographers for Field Museum publications. Notable subjects include Big Foot, dead in the snow at the Wounded Knee battlefield; Arapaho and Cheyenne social dances; Hopi ceremonies; a reenactment of the shooting of Sitting Bull; Sun Dances (Arapaho, Assiniboin and Atsina, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Ponca); and views of the United States Indian School Building and Pawnee Indians at the the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri. Other photographs include portraits and images of artifacts, basket weaving, cradles, dress, dwelling, tipis and other dwellings, and tree burials. There are also some photographs of Henry Field's expedition to Iraq in 1934 (Field museum anthropological expedition to the Near East), work elephants in Burma, Pipestone Quarry in Minnesota, a church in the Yucatan, and a rickshaw and cart in Ceylon.
Willis G. Tilton was a dealer and owner of the store, Tilton Indian Relics, in Topeka, Kansas.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 89-8, NAA Photo Lot 135
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Photographs in the Tilton Collection, previously filed in Photo Lot 135, have been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 89-8. These photographs were also purchased by the Bureau of American Ethnology from Willis G. Tilton and form part of this collection.
Associated photographs still held in the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.
Most photographs included in the card catalog of copy negatives and in the reference file prints by tribe.
Additional photographs by Dorsey held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4721 and Photo Lot 24.
Correspondence from Dorsey held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4821, records of the Bureau of American Ethnology, the J.C. Pilling Papers, and the Ales Hrdlicka Papers.
Additional photographs by Nelson held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 171, Photo Lot 133, Photo Lot 24, and the BAE historical negatives.
Additional Maude photographs held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 90-1 and Photo Lot 24.
Additional E. E. Hall photographs held in National Anthropological Archives MS 4978 and Photo Lot 24.
The Smithsonian Institution Archives holds Nelson's field reports (SIA Acc. 97-123) and the Edward William Nelson and Edward Alphonso Goldman Collection (SIA RU007364).
See others in:
Willis G. Tilton photograph collection of American Indians, circa 1880-1930 (bulk 1899-1904)