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Native American Portraits Combine Art and Anthropology

Photographs that capture the life and culture of Native Americans from the Kwakiutl, Kashaya Pomo, Hupa, Navajo, Blackfoot and Sioux tribes will be on display at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology beginning Wednesday, Sept. 16.

The portraits were taken between 1951 and 1984 by William Heick, principal cinematographer for the American Indian Films Project.

The project's goal was to record the few remaining vestiges of ancient Indian lifestyles. While on film shoots, Heick took still photos of tribal architecture, artisans, ceremonial costumes and religious leaders. Many of these images are included in the exhibit.

Like his mentor, famed photographer Dorothea Lange, Heick's photographs combine scholarly anthropological documentation within the rich artistic human portraits.

While some of the exhibit photos have been published in the "Handbook of Northern American Indians," many are on display for the first time.

Heick will attend the exhibit's opening reception, Sunday, Sept. 20 at 3 p.m. at the Hearst Museum, located in Kroeber Hall.

On Thursday, Oct. 15 at 12:15 p.m., Heick will present a gallery talk on his Native American portraits in Kroeber Hall.

Both events are free and open to the public.

For information call 643-1191 or visit the museum web site at

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