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Nancy Marie Mithlo


Anne Ray Resident Scholar

Affiliation at time of award:
Associate Professor
Department of Art History and American Indian Studies
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Of His Time: The Modernist Legacy of Kiowa Photographer Horace Poolaw

Dr. Mithlo’s research places the photographic legacy of Horace Poolaw within the larger context of American Indian visual representations, particularly in the transitional period (1920–1950) of Indian citizenship, urbanization, and engagement in emerging photographic technologies. Self-representation—including theatrical performances and parades; tribal, pan-tribal, and family occasions such as graduations, weddings, funerals, and vacations; and artistic portraits—serve as the focal point for Dr. Mithlo’s analysis. An applied engagement with the implications of the reproduction, circulation, and interpretation of this vital American Indian archive is an integral aspect of the project. Copyright, intellectual property, oral histories, and the restrictions of cultural institutions are central considerations, given the family rather than institutional or tribal ownership of the collection. While at SAR, Dr. Mithlo will develop a manuscript on this research that will accompany the 2014 exhibition on Horace Poolaw at the National Museum of the American Indian.