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On View: The Photography of Horace Poolaw at the National Museum of the American Indian

Horace Poolaw (Kiowa,1906 -1984) was an expert chronicler of the Native experience in the Southern Plains of America.

Eula Mae Narcomey Doonkeen (Seminole) in the American Indian Exposition Parade. Anadarko, Oklahoma, by Horace Poolaw.1952 (© 2014 Estate of Horace Poolaw)

Eula Mae Narcomey Doonkeen (Seminole) in the American Indian Exposition Parade. Anadarko, Oklahoma, by Horace Poolaw.1952 (© 2014 Estate of Horace Poolaw)

For the Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw is the first full-scale retrospective of his work and the first time the National Museum of the American Indian has devoted a photography exhibit to a single artist.

Born in Oklahoma one year prior to its inclusion as a U.S. state, Poolaw was deeply rooted in his multi-tribal community. His work provides an insider’s perspective on the cultural changes of the Native people of Oklahoma from the 1920s to the 1960s. He photographed friends, family and events familiar to all — weddings, parades, funerals, sports and more — but through a distinctive Native lens.

The exhibition is based on the Poolaw Photography Project, a research initiative started by his daughter at Stanford University and continues today at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For the Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw is on view at the National Museum of the American Indian through February 15, 2015.

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