Photography's Enduring Life

A Hundred Years of (De)colonial Imaginaries of North American Indigenous People




Native Americans, Vanishing Race, Photographic representation, 'Living archive', Assimilation policies


Museum Kunstwerk hosted a special exhibition that explored Native American photographic portraiture and questioned its ambivalent status as both fine art and a powerful political tool. Displaying the works of two US-american artists, Edward Sheriff Curtis and Will Wilson, the exhibition not only bridged a century of different modes of representation, but also confronted irreconcilable (de)colonial imaginaries: Curtis’ non-Indian point of view on the one hand, the Native American perspective of the Diné photographer Wilson on the other.



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Author Biography

Beate Pittnauer, University of Fine Arts Brunswick

Beate Pittnauer is an art and photo historian based in Germany. She specializes in 20th-century European photography with a focus on art and documentary photography in their multiple media relations of the interwar and postwar periods. Besides her investigation in historical photography, she worked for funding programs on contemporary photography and gained curatorial experience at art and cultural history museums. She was a fellow of the research training group The Photographic Dispositif (DFG) at Braunschweig University of Fine Arts and is a section editor of Archivo Papers. Journal of Photography and Visual Culture, UK.

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How to Cite

Pittnauer, B. (2023). Photography’s Enduring Life: A Hundred Years of (De)colonial Imaginaries of North American Indigenous People. Archivo Papers, 3(2), 127–135.