Boys and Girls of the Choctaw Nation,—S.E. corner of Indian Territory. 1872. Antonio Zeno Shindler, photog.
Boys and Girls of the Choctaw Nation,—S.E. corner of Indian Territory. 1872.
Boys and Girls of the Choctaw Nation,—S.E. corner of Indian Territory. 1872.

Boys and Girls of the Choctaw Nation,—S.E. corner of Indian Territory. 1872.

Indian Territory, [1868] 1872. 2 albumen photographs, each 5.5” x 4”, on single paperboard mount, 7” x 10.25”. Manuscript title on mount. Image of two girls numbered 936 in the negative.

A scarce pair of studio photographs of Choctaw children, including a boy and two girls, by noted western photographer and painter Antonio Zeno Shindler (1823–1899).

While dated 1872 in manuscript, the Smithsonian dates the portrait of the two girls to 1868 and identifies Shindler as the photographer. The portrait of the boy being in the same style is clearly his work as well. These images were likely created during Shindler’s tour of the American West in the company of the English philanthropist William Blackmore (1827–1878)—an excursion that inspired Shindler to become a painter of Native American subjects. Blackmore would also commission Shindler and the Smithsonian to make copies of his own collection of photos, create a catalog for their exhibition, as well as photograph delegations of Native Americans visiting Washington during this time. Following his work for Blackmore, Shindler worked for the Smithsonian as a photographer and artist until his death in 1899, specializing in ethnographic subjects.

Having sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War, the Choctaw Nation was forced to cede territory following the War, sell their western lands, and accept the U.S. government’s demands for expanded railroad rights-of-way. The Choctaw Nation and its territory was thus made vulnerable to exploitation by railroads and non-Native American ranchers, coal miners, and commercial entrepreneurs. The indigenous Nation was soon overwhelmed.

REFERENCES: Antonio Zeno Shindler photographs of Indians and agents, circa 1867–1871 at sova.si.edu; Choctaw at okhistory.org

CONDITION: Good, tape repair on verso to broken lower left corner of mount, one tiny puncture at middle between the images, a few specks to images.

Item #5615

Price: $950.00

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