'Native American Trans-Mississippi Exposition' on display at Wilkes-Barre

LEHMAN, Pa. — “Native American Trans-Mississippi Exposition,” an art exhibit providing a unique opportunity to view copied original Frank Rinehart photos taken in 1898 at The Native American Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha, Nebraska will be on display in the Friedman Art Gallery at Penn State Wilkes-Barre now through December. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Frank Rinehart was appointed the official photographer at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition. His duties included photographing the mass of buildings constructed for the expo and special dignitaries who attended. With the decision to bring 500 Native American Indians to be a part of the expo, a studio was constructed on the grounds to make certain their portraits were produced under ideal conditions. Rinehart began his career in photography with William Jackson, a prominent Denver photographer. Born in Lodi, Illinois, in 1862, Rinehart died on Dec. 7, 1928.

The exhibit is being provided by local author Royal Sutton. Sutton worked at the Rinehart-Marsden Photographic Studio in Omaha, taking over ownership in 1966 until its closure in 1969. He moved to Dallas, Pennsylvania, in 1971. Sutton retained ownership of the original glass negatives of the Indian photographic portraits produced by Frank Rinehart until 1972, at which time ownership was transferred to Haskell Indian University in Lawrence, Kansas, where they remain to this day.

A public presentation on the exhibition is being planned for Dec. 7 in the Barry Auditorium beginning at 12:15 p.m.

“Native American Trans-Mississippi Exposition” will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Friedman Art Gallery is a space within the Nesbitt Academic Commons for students and local artists to display their work or for the showing of private collections.