Photographing the American Indian:
Portraits of Native Americans, 1860-1913, from the collections of
the Massachusetts Historical Society
"The Sunset of a Dying Race"
This photograph is a striking example of Joseph K. Dixon’s use of photographic manipulation to romanticize his Native American subject. In the original negative for this photograph, currently held in the Wanamaker Collection at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at the University of Indiana, the sky is much lighter and the Indian rides with others up the crest of the hill. To create the image above, Dixon used a celluloid overlay on the negative to hide out the other natives and to create the effect of the “sunset” around the lone figure.