Charles Fletcher Lummis

Charles Lummis

Charles F. Lummis (1859–1928), journalist and photographer, cyanotype, PM 63-22-10/9972.

Southwestern Portraits, 1888–1896

October 18, 2002–August 2003 

Charles Fletcher Lummis, 1859-1928, was a journalist, historian, ethnographer, archaeologist, photographer, poet, Indian rights and historical preservation activist, and Harvard alumnus. Lummis devoted his personal and professional life to educating Americans about the lives, history, traditions, and beliefs of the peoples of the Southwest, particularly the Pueblo Indians and Hispanic Americans. Primarily a writer, Lummis's photographic work is diverse, evocative, and arguably among the most influential of his day. Over his lifetime, Lummis produced more than 10,000 photographs, most between the years 1888–1900.

Today, this body of written and photographic work remains a treasure trove of the ethnography and archaeology of the American Southwest. Much of his work continues to inform and illustrate serious works about the Pueblos and is considered an important resource by contemporary Puebloan people, as well.

Exhibited for the first time, the exhibit features a selection of Lummis's favorite photographs from two albums of cyanotypes (blue prints), which he prepared and sent in 1897 to George Parker Winship, Southwestern expert and librarian at the John Carter Brown Library, and later Widner Library at Harvard.

Curated by Pamela Gerardi.