A North American Indian photograph by Frank A Rinehart and Adolf F Muhr

A North American Indian photograph by Frank A Rinehart and Adolf F Muhr

1800 to 2000 USA

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A North American Indian portrait by Frank A Rinehart (c1861-c1928) and Adolf F Muhr ( active 1890-1913 )
Original numbered and copyrighted platinum print

Size : 23.5 cm x 18.5 cm

Copyright 1900 F.A Rinehart, Omaha
image on right sold
Frank A Rinehart was the brother of photographer A.E Rinehart and was brought up to learn the trade of a western frontier cameraman. In 1878 he became a partner in a photographic studio in Denver, Colorado, with William Henry Jackson, the famous photographer of the American West. In 1886 he married the studio receptionist and moved to Omaha, Nebraska where he opened his own studio specialising in commercial portraits.
In 1898 he became the official photographer of the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in Omaha. In a gallery at the Exposition he and his assistant Adolf Muhr photographed over 500 members of such tribes as the Kootenai and Salish Flatheads that were in Omaha for an Indian Congress.
The United States Bureau of American Ethnology contracted for a complete set and Rinehart copyrighted another set. Many of these images have now been attributed to Adolf F Muhr who worked for Rinehart at the time. In 1903, after contesting the copyright, Muhr left to work for Edward Curtis.
Rhineharts images of a vanishing people in their ceremonial dress, in staged settings, romanaticise a culture on the verge of becoming a myth. However these photographs constitute one of the best photographic documents of native peoples at the turn of the century.
As Susan Sontag observes, photographs '..... are indeed able to usurp reality'.

F and A.E Rinehart were the sons of John Byers Rinehart and Mary Cooly Rinehart, when then moved to Denver in the 1870's they both studied with William Henry Jackson. A.E Rinehart is buried in the family plot in Denver with his parents, and Frank is buried in Omaha Nebraska with his wife and two daughters.
Height 23.50 cm (9.25 inches)
Width 18.50 cm (7.28 inches)
Stock Code
Platinum Print ( wood frame and glass )
Copyright 1900 F.A. Rinehart, Omaha
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