Synopses & Reviews
Horace Poolaw (Kiowa, 1906and#150;84) was born during a time of great change for his American Indian people as they balanced age-old traditions with the influences of mainstream America. A rare American Indian photographer who documented Indian subjects, Poolaw began making a visual history in the mid-1920s and continued for the next fifty years. When he sold his photos, he often stamped the reverse: and#147;A Poolaw Photo, Pictures by an Indian, Horace M. Poolaw, Anadarko, Okla.and#8221; Not simply by and#147;an Indian,and#8221; but by a Kiowa man strongly rooted in his multi-tribal community, Poolawand#8217;s work celebrates his subjectsand#8217; place in American life and preserves an insiderand#8217;s perspective on a world few outsiders are familiar withand#151;the Native America of the southern plains during the mid-twentieth century.
For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw is based on the Poolaw Photography Project, a research initiative established by Poolawand#8217;s daughter Linda in 1989 at Stanford University and carried on by Native scholars Nancy Marie Mithlo (Chiricahua Apache) and Tom Jones (Ho-Chunk) of the University of Wisconsinand#150;Madison.
National Museum of the American Indian
andldquo;[Poolaw]andrsquo;s photographsandmdash;which he took not for publication, but for the use and enjoyment of the people around himandmdash;are moving, humane, and beautiful.andrdquo;andmdash;Rebecca Onion, Slate
For more than five decades of the twentieth century, one of the first American Indian professional photographers gave an insiderand#8217;s view of his Oklahoma communityand#151;a community rooted in its traditional culture while also thoroughly modern and quintessentially American
About the Author
Nancy Marie Mithlo
(Chiricahua Apache) is the chair of American Indian studies at the Autry National Center Institute and associate professor of art history and visual arts at Occidental College. Mithlo has served most recently as senior editor for the 2011 publicationand#160;Manifestations: New Native Art Criticism
published by the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.