The exhibition "Wild West in
Photographs" organized by the Russian Museum and the Foundation for
International Arts and Education exhibits photographs from the end of the 19th
century through the beginning of the 20th century from collections of the
American photographers Edward Curtis, John Grabill, as well as from the
collection of the Lawrence and Houseworth publishers, which are currently
housed at the Library of Congress of the United States in Washington.
The history and culture of American Indians
have already long been a subject of study for historians, ethnographers and art
historians. In the second half of the 19th century through the beginning of the
20th century, the traditions of several Indian tribes were partially or completely
annihilated, but from approximately the middle of the 20th century on, there
have been attempts of indigenous peoples who live on this land to gradually
restore these cultural elements that were lost. That is why addressing the
subject of the Wild West in the United States, along with the annihilation of
indigenous peoples who lived on said territory is extremely important.
The exhibition has been designed as a story
about the most interesting moments in the history of the conquest of the Wild
West. On display in the exhibition are numerous portraits of American Indians,
hunters and famous individuals, such as Red Cloud, the chief of the Oglala
Lakota; and others; as well as photography sessions at gold mines, during the
Gold Rush period of the second half of the 19th century. There are photographs
of the trains that were the first to run on the Trans-Continental Railroad,
which linked the East and the West of the country and accelerated the
development of the western territories of the United States. There are also
extremely interesting photographs that capture some of the traditional rites of
Indian tribes and traditional Indian masks.
Each photograph is unique, and each tells its
own fascinating story. All of the photographs on display at the exhibition were
taken by photographers who were also settlers: John Grabill, Edward Curtis,
Frederick Monsen and the Gerhard sisters, Emme and Mayme.
The exhibition is supported by THE BLAVATNIK
FAMILY FOUNDATION and ENERGY STANDARD GROUP