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Joseph C. Farber photographs of American Indian life, circa 1970-1975

Farber, Joseph C. 1903-
Gorman, R. C (Rudolph Carl) 1932-
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Exhibitions
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Department of Anthropology
circa 1970-1975
Collection descriptions
Physical Description
circa 6000 negatives: acetate
circa 6000 contact prints (proof sheets)
circa 1000 enlarged prints: silver gelatin (some mounted for exhibition)
8 color transparencies
Restrictions & Rights
Photographs published in Farber's books still under copyright. Reproduction permission from artist's estate
Local number
NAA Photo Lot 78-1
NAA ACC 95-3
Farber's photographs, previously located in Photo Lot 95-3 have been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 78-1. These photographs were also made by Joseph C. Farber and form part of this collection.
The National Museum of American History Archives Center holds the Joseph Farber Papers and Photographs, circa 1962-1990.
Joseph C. Farber (1903-1994) was a successful New York businessman and professional photographer. He studied with Edward Steichen at the New York Camera Club in the 1920s. The prints in this collection resulted from a five-year project that involved travelling to Indian communities throughout the United States to document modern American Indian life. The project resulted in a book, Native Americans: 500 Years After (1975), as well as exhibits, including one in the National Museum of Natural History in 1976-1977.
Partial inventory available in repository.
Some exhibition prints donated by Joseph C. Farber as part of the Natural History Museum's exhibit of his work, circa 1976. Rest of the collection donated by Farber's daughter, Joan Farber, after his death in 1994.
Addl. KW Subjects
Pima (Akimel O'odham)
San Ildefonso
Alaskan Eskimo
Athapaskan, Athabaskan
Photographs made as part of Joseph C. Farber's project to document modern American Indian everyday life. Represented tribes include the Acoma, Apache, Blackfoot, Chehalis, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Cocopa, Dakota, Eskimo, Haida, Kiowa, Kutenai, Lummi, Mohave, Mohawk, Navaho, Northern Athabascan, Onandaga, Pima, Pueblo, Quinalt, Seminole, Taos, Tlingit, and Zuni. Subject coverage is broad and varies from tribe to tribe. Included are portraits, as well as totem poles, carving, weaving, pottery, painitng, landscapes, boats and canoes, ceremonial regalia, camps, classes and vocational training, homes and traditional dwellings, construction projects, rodeos and powwows, dances, industries (including lumber), herding and ranching, agriculture, stores and storefronts, cliff dwellings, parades, crab cleaning, fishing, games, health care, legal processes, music, office work, sewing, vending, and a funeral. There are also photographs of R. C. Gorman (and a letter from Gorman to Farber) and Fritz Shoulder (some in color).
Farber's travels included Alaska (Point Barrow, Dead Horse, Glacier Bay, Haines, Hoona, Hydaberg, Ketchikan, Mount McKinley, Prudhoe Bay, Saxman, and Sitka); Alberta (Blackfeet Reservation); Arizona (Canyon de Chelly, Cocopa Reservation, Flagstaff, Kayenta, Monument Valley, Pima Reservation, Quechan Reservation, Mojave Reservation, and Yuma); California (Alcatraz, Oakland, and San Francisco); Florida (Big Cypress Reservation; Miccosukee Reservation); Minnesota (Minneapolis and Nett Lake); Montana (Northern Cheyenne Reservation); New Mexico (Acoma, Gallup, Navajo Forest, Picuris, Puye, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Santa Fe, Taos, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, and Tesuque); New York (New York City and Onandaga Reservation); North Carolina (Cherokee Reservation); Oklahoma (Anadarko, Apache, Lawton, Stilwell, and Tahlequah); South Dakota (Rosebud and Wounded Knee); and Washington (Lummi Reservation, Nisqually River, Puyallup River, and Quinalt Reservation).
Photographs published in Joseph C. Farber, Native Americans: 500 Years After, New York: Crowell, 1975
Cite as
Photo Lot 78-1, Joseph C. Farber photographs of American Indian life, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Repository Loc.
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland
Acoma Indians
Apache Indians
Athapascan Indians
Blackfoot Confedera
Chehalis Indians
Cherokee Indians
Cheyenne Indians
Cocopa Indians
Comanche Indians
Dakota Indians
Haida Indians
Lummi Indians
Kiowa Indians
Kootenai Indians
Mikasuki Indians
Mohave Indians
Navajo Indians
Ojibwa Indians
Onondaga Indians
Piegan Indians
Pima Indians
Pueblo Indians
Quinault Indians
Taos Indians
Tewa Indians
Tlingit Indians
Indians of North America Northwest Coast of North America
Indians of North America Southwest, New
Indians of North America Plateau
Indians of North America Great Plains
Indians of North America Southern States
Indians of North America Northeast
Arctic peoples
Data Source
National Anthropological Archives
See more items in
Joseph C. Farber photographs of American Indian life circa 1970-1974
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
South Dakota
Washington (State)
Barrow, Point (Alaska)
Yuma County (Ariz.)
Taos (N.M.)