Picturing Indians: Photographic Encounters and Tourist Fantasies, provides a fascinating account of the Ho-Chunk Indians and the Wisconsin Dells region of Wisconsin in the late 1800s. Picturing Indians is a pictorial account based on the photographs of Henry Hamilton Bennett, a noted photographer of the Wisconsin Dells’ scenic area at that time. Bennett chronicled in black and white photography the interactions between Indians and white men as the Wisconsin Dells began developing into a tourist mecca a century ago. America’s interest in Native peoples as a vanishing race was the motivating force behind Bennett’s shift from scenic photography to people. The author, Steven Hoelscher, traces the development of the tourist-driven economy of the Dells along with the resourcefulness of the Ho-Chunk people as they worked in this new commercial environment. Using letters, diaries, financial records, guide books, and periodicals of the day, he recounts the story of the Ho-Chunk people evolving with the times. His book also compares Bennett’s depictions of the Ho-Chunk with the work of present-day photographer Tom Jones.
Anyone with an interest in the history of Wisconsin and its Native people will find this book a fascinating read.
Written by Steven D. Hoelscher. Includes 86 black and white photos, 3 maps, 1 chart. 194 pages. 8 x 10 in.paperback book. Forward by Paul S. Boyer, Series Editor, Studies in American Thought and Culture.