Visualizing Survivance: Reclaiming Ho-Chunk History Through the Photographs of Charles Van Schaick, 1879–1942
Amy Lonetree, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Anne Ray Resident Scholar, SAR
Colloquium, SAR Boardroom
Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free
This presentation will explore the importance of Charles Van Schaick's photographs and the representation of Ho-Chunk families in this unique and rich collection currently housed at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Van Schaick’s work differs greatly from other photographers of this period, most notably Edward Curtis, who sought to capture images of a “vanishing race” for ethnographic and commercial purposes. Van Schaick’s images are significant as Ho-Chunk families themselves commissioned photographs for their own personal use. Today these 1,000 photographs are powerful representations of family history and cultural survival during a time period that is poorly represented in the scholarly record. Stories these images convey of the importance of kinship, place, memory, ongoing colonialism, and survivance are central themes of the Ho-Chunk experience in the late 19th/early 20th century, and this presentation will address these intersecting themes through analysis of a diverse range of images contained within the collection.