Published December 16, 2016
PAWHUSKA, OKLAHOMA – Hallie Winter, Curator at the Osage Nation Museum, announced Wednesday the largest gift of photographic material in the museum’s 78-year history: Approximately 1,000 photographs and documents related to Osage history donated by Osage Nation’s Assistant Principal Chief, Raymond W. Red Corn.
“I want to dedicate this collection to the memory of my parents, Raymond Red Corn Jr. and Waltina. My father had a collection of Ho-ta-moie photographs and rare 1895 stereoviews of Pawhuska, which he gave me, forming the core of this collection. I hope people enjoy seeing these photographs as much as I enjoyed collecting them. My sons will tell you about the loud groans I heard if I braked for a junk shop or an antique mall in our family travels. I had to invest a fair amount of time dealing in collectible postcards and photographs to support the acquisition of quality Osage material, but it was worth it. In the past few years the Osage Nation has invested in fire suppression and security systems at the Museum. That contributed to my confidence that the Osage Nation Museum was the right place to share this collection with the Osage people and the general public,” says Assistant Principal Chief Red Corn.
The gift includes historic photographs and real photo post cards that pertain to Osage history and culture. Many prominent Osage individuals from the turn of the century are depicted as well as images from the early days of Pawhuska and Fairfax, Oklahoma.
“We are so grateful to Assistant Chief Red Corn for the extraordinary gift of the very best work of photographic material from his personal collection, which cements the status of our already strong photographic holdings. The Red Corn gift allows us to build one of the richest narratives of Osage history under one roof. The Osage Nation Museum has a marvelous collection built through transformative gifts like Assistant Principal Chief Red Corn’s, going back to the Museum’s founding in 1938.” said Curator, Hallie Winter.
“We’re also extremely fortunate to have Assistant Chief Red Corn’s knowledge and expertise alongside the images,” said Cali Martin, Collections Manager at the ONM. “We’ve been working with him over the past few months to document information about each individual photograph. The context of these images is nearly as important as the images themselves, and with Assistant Chief Red Corn’s help, we’re able to incorporate a lot of that cultural history into the preservation of these materials. It’s been a real pleasure to work with him on this donation, and a really wonderful way to familiarize staff with these incredible images. The historic photographs and real photo postcards included in this donation are in excellent condition making them ideal for future research, exhibition, and use.”
The ONM relies on donations to continue building the collection. Monetary donations, in-kind donations, and object donations are all incredible ways community members can help support and maintain the ONM. In fiscal year 2016 the ONM received 66 additional object donations.
The ONM highlights new acquisitions and ensures the public can engage with them. New donations and purchases that are accessioned into the collection will, for a time, be displayed in the East Gallery of the museum in a display case that is dedicated to new acquisitions. In doing so, the Curator makes it a point to have new donations respected and available for viewing.