Three Men at Shoshone Falls / Unidentified photographer

Three Men at Shoshone Falls / Unidentified photographer / Albumen silver print, c. 1877 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924

September 25, 2009 - January 24, 2010

The American West was dramatically remade in the eight decades between the beginning of the Mexican War and the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924. This exhibition tells the story of those changes through the photographs of the men and women who helped define this era. Although the history of the trans-Mississippian West is many centuries old, the period beginning with the annexation of Texas in 1845 and the outbreak of war with Mexico in 1846 saw ever-increasing encounters between people of different cultural traditions and circumstances. These individuals played a significant role in the exploration, settlement, and representation of this vast territory.

  • Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924

    View of "Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924." Photo by Mark Gulezian.

  • Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924

    View of "Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924." Photo by Mark Gulezian.

  • Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924

    View of "Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924." Photo by Mark Gulezian.

  • Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924

    View of "Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924." Photo by Mark Gulezian.