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The Wanamaker Collection: A Tribute to Susan Applegate Krouse, 1955-2010

January 12 - April 22, 2012

Closing Reception Thursday, April 19, 4pm - 6pm

Community GalleryImage of the Wanamaker Collection exhibit

Images documenting Native Americans from 1908-1923, on loan from the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University. The renowned Wanamaker Collection consists of more than 8,000 images of Native Americans, made between 1908-1923, and featuring individuals from more than 150 tribes in the American West. The collection -- used for research and exhibition, and recently digitized for greater access -- was first organized and conserved by Indiana University graduate student Susan Applegate Krouse. 

Susan Krouse (1955-2010) served as associate professor of Anthropology, MSU Museum curator of Great Lakes Ethnology, and later as director of MSU’s American Indian Studies Program. Her book, North American Indians in the Great War, based on the collection’s documents and photographs, was published in 2007.

The exhibit chronicles the history of the collection, the range and variation of images, and the uses and study of the collection, which had its start in 1908 when photographer Joseph K. Dixon set out on his first trip to the American West to record images of Native Americans. Dixon, funded by John and Rodman Wanamaker of the Wanamaker Department Stores, spent the next 15 years in a series of "expeditions" taking photographs and amassing documentation. The images in the Wanamaker Collection depict Dixon's changing perceptions of Native Americans and his appreciation of the diversity of Indian cultures and the dignity of individual people.  The Wanamaker Collection database is available for searching.

Also of interest: See this feature in the Indian Country Today Media Network.