Myth and Majesty

Photographs Picturing the American Southwest


California Museum of Photography

January 30 - May 21, 2016


Winter Reception

Saturday, January 30, 2016, 6pm - 9pm



The California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock presents photographs depicting Native Americans in the Southwestern region of the United States dating to the period of the 1870s through the 1930s. Selected from the museum’s permanent collection, the photographs presented here were made by Adam Clark Vroman, Edward Sheriff Curtis, John Karl Hillers, and others. They depict Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo peoples and cultures from their irremovable Western settlers’ points of view. Each photographer brought his own approaches, attitudes, and aims to achieve photographs that remain complex in their aesthetic and sociopolitical resonations, at times fraught with contemporaneous stereotypes about Native Americans.


Jason Weems, Associate Professor of the History of Art at UC Riverside, will guest author an original essay to accompany the exhibition. 


Myth and Majesty: Picturing the American Southwest is organized by the California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock and is curated by Joanna Szupinska-Myers, CMP Curator of Exhibitions, and Kathryn Poindexter, CMP Curatorial Assistant. The exhibition is made possible with the support of UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS) and the City of Riverside.




Adam Clark Vroman, Pueblo Basket Maker, Oraibi, 1900 (detail), from the permanent collection of the California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock, The H.C. Setzer-Alexander/ Friends of Photography Collection.