Time Exposures: Picturing a History of Isleta Pueblo in the 19th Century

September 17, 2011 – June 10, 2012

National Museum of the American Indian George Gustav Heye Center
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
One Bowling Green
New York, NY

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House

With more than 80 images and objects that detail life on the Isleta Pueblo Reservation, this exhibition reveals the rapid changes forced on the Native American people of the American Southwest after the arrival of the railroads in 1881. The railroad companies forcibly took land in the center of Isleta Pueblo in the Rio Grande Valley and the rail lines they built brought scores of tourists and other visitors. Included are images by photographers Edward Curtis, A.C. Vroman, Karl Moon, John Hillers, Charles Lummis, Carlos Vierra, Sumner Matteson, Albert Sweeney, Josef Imhof, and Ben Wittick.

The exhibition is divided into the following three sections:

  • The first section details the cycle of the Isleta traditional year as it was observed in the mid-19th century.
  • The second section describes the arrival of the Americans and how this disrupted the Isleta way of living.
  • The third section examines the photos themselves as products of an outside culture and questions their portrayal of the Isleta people and their ways.

Organized by the people of Isleta Pueblo.