By Geneva HorseChief-Hamilton, ON Communications
On July 22, 2016, the Osage Nation Museum (ONM) participated in a historic photo project featuring the contemporary descendants of Native American subjects from Edward S. Curtis portraits from 1927. One of Curtis' subjects was John Bigheart, Osage. Several descendants of Bigheart were photographed by photographer, Will Wilson, Diné Nation. Wilson and Heather Ahtone, Associate Curator of Native American Art and Non Western Art at the University of Oklahoma Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art, travelled to numerous Native communities to build the PHOTO/SYTHESIS exhibit. Wilson credits Ahtone with connecting with descendants and Native Nations to also photograph leadership. Ahtone, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations, said the process and the completed exhibit will empower representations of Native people and reject the notion of the "vanishing" Indian that is associated with the Curtis photos. Wilson used an anachronistic photography process, wet-plate collodion tintypes, and a hundred year old lens to recreate the look and process used by Curtis. A dark room was set-up outside of the ONM to quickly develop the photos including photographs of Osage Nation leadership, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and Assistant Chief Raymond Red Corn. For more information about the project contact the Osage Nation Museum at (918) 287-5441. Follow this LINK to read the news release from ONM about the photo collaboration.