Textured Portraits: The Ken Blackbird Collection
Native photographer Ken Blackbird observes that photographers are “the image keepers of history.”
Ken Blackbird is Gros Ventre/Assiniboine and an enrolled member of the Fort Belknap Indian Community of Montana. He has been a photojournalist and freelance photographer in a career that spans more than 30 years. His photographic essay on modern life in Cuba was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2003. To date, he remains the only American Indian photographer to be nominated for this prestigious award. A graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism, he has lived in the Cody, Wyoming, area for many years.
Out of many thousand images, Blackbird has selected these photographs for exhibition. The colorful splendor of the powwow, a young girl’s gleeful expression as she floats above a trampoline, or late afternoon light filling the eagle staff in the dance arbor at Fort Belknap—these are privileged moments he shares with us. Though his photographs recall a rich tradition, the vitality of Native American life today is his subject, conveyed poignantly and passionately through his lens.
Read more about this and other Center of the West exhibitions on the Center’s website by clicking “Exhibitions” at the bottom of the home page. For more information about the Ken Blackbird Collection, contact Mary Robinson, Housel Curator of the Center’s McCracken Research Library at 307-578-4063.