The Photography of Richard Throssel (DGM Module 3-3)

Whereas Edward Curtis was a White man photographing Indians, Richard Throssel was a Crow Indian, hired by the Indian Service (of the US Gov’t) from 1909 to 1911 to depict everyday life on the Crow Reserve. While Throssel’s photographs are also coloured by the late-Romantic notion of the “noble Indian”, his insider’s perspective led to many photographs that depict a somewhat truer reality: Indians who weren’t living in an idealized past, but as contemporary to the rest of America at the beginning of the twentieth century.

On the page linked above, Valerie Daniels has posted a representative selection of photographs from Throssel’s employment by the Indian Service and his later private venture, Throssel Photocraft Co., along with a brief biography. A number of these photos, such as Showing the Better Class of Indian Home (1910) and Interior of the Best Kitchen on the Crow Reservation (1910) had been produced for use in educational pamphlets on “Indian Health”.


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