“Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Warriors: Photographs by Gertrude Käsebier” Opens April 13 in Smithsonian’s International Gallery

Exhibition Features 60 Photos by Renowned Photographer.
April 6, 2011
News Release

In 1898, New York photographer Gertrude Käsebier watched the grand parade of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, which was on its way to Madison Square Garden. Inspired by what she saw in the parade, Käsebier began a special project photographing the Lakota (Sioux) travelling with the show in her studio on Fifth Avenue. The result was a set of prints that are among the most compelling of Käsebier’s celebrated body of work.

“Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Warriors: Photographs by Gertrude Käsebier” will be on view in the International Gallery of the S. Dillion Ripley Center from April 13 through June 15.

Käsebier (1852-1934) was raised in the Plains territory of Iowa and Colorado. She eventually moved to New York City with her mother, where she married Edward Käsebier in 1873. In 1888, she enrolled in the Pratt Institute to study painting and photography. Käsebier explored the creative and technical aspects of photography and would go on to study in France and Germany before opening her first professional studio in 1898.

The exhibition features 60 original platinum and gum-bichromate photographs, printed from the original glass negatives, pictograph drawings made by the Lakota (Sioux) while at Käsebier’s studio and other items representing Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show from collections at the Smithsonian and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo.

The exhibition was produced by the Photographic History Collection at the National Museum of American History and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The National Museum of American History’s Photographic History Collection has preserved more than 100 of Käsebier’s photos.

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