Osage Indian Family image
Exhibit Date
February 23 - August 26, 2017

Since its inception, photography was used to capture a moment in time. A place, gesture, facial expression, or time period is frozen for future generations to look upon. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Native Americans were considered a “vanishing race”. Photographic images show an important and sometimes romanticized version of Native American life. During this time, the Osage people were also photographed prolifically. Photographers and publishers distributed real photo post cards of Osage Indian culture and people, making these images available for worldwide consumption.

The ONM has chosen to display these century old photographs from the permanent collection in the hopes that viewers may glimpse what life was like for the Osage during this time period and draw their own contemporary reactions to these images. In the age of the selfie, where a camera is never far away, and our lives are well documented, we thought it was important to showcase early photography of the Osage and how our people were depicted. We want to ask the viewer to think about the reactions they might have from seeing these images and if this is how they would like to be portrayed today.

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