Events & Exhibitions » Past Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions

Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time

October 25, 2015 through May 7, 2017

White House Ruin
White House Ruin is composed of two parts: a larger room block on the canyon floor that rose to four stories high in the back, and another set of rooms built in a rock shelter immediately above. The upper rooms could have been reached from the fourth-story roof of the lower structure. The bulging, stained walls of the rock face above the rock shelter have made the site a favorite photographic subject. Timothy O’Sullivan photographed the site in the mid-1870s, and it has been well photographed ever since, including by Ansel Adams. Photograph by Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1929.

Pueblo del Arroyo, Pueblo Bonito, and Chetro Ketl
The minimal shadows cast by cliffs and walls in this photograph show that it, like its matching Lindbergh image of three great houses—Pueblo del Arroyo, Pueblo Bonito, and Chetro Ketl—was taken sometime close to solar noon. Although it’s high summer in a national park, human activity is low, perhaps because of the heat. A few cars are parked or being driven on roads, but the historic buildings, the ongoing archaeological fieldwork, and the ranching infrastructure that made the 1929 photograph so lively are missing. The park service made a conscious decision to remove historic structures, believing that they distracted from the more ancient Chaco period structures and features that the park was established to protect. Park service roads, parking lots, and trails both guide and constrain the visitor experience, and the landscape now appears comparatively barren. Photograph by Adriel Heisey, 2008.

For the first time in Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time, large prints of Heisey’s stunning images will be paired directly with the Lindberghs’. The exhibition opens October 25, 2015 and runs through May 7, 2017 at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.

During 2007 and 2008, flying at alarmingly low altitudes and slow speeds, Adriel Heisey leaned out the door of his light plane, and holding his camera with both hands, re-photographed some of the Southwest’s most significant archaeological sites that Charles Lindbergh and his new bride Anne photographed in 1929.



Pueblo del Arroyo, Pueblo Bonito, and Chetro Ketl
This higher-elevation photograph shows three great houses—Pueblo del Arroyo, Pueblo Bonito, and Chetro Ketl—in addition to what appears to be irrigated areas. The geographic proximity of these three great houses is clear. These and Pueblo Alto, on the upper bench to the right of Pueblo Bonito and not visible in this photograph, create what some have called Downtown Chaco. Historic use of the canyon can be seen in structures near Pueblo del Arroyo and Pueblo Bonito: buildings, a corral, and roads. Additionally, active excavation was taking place at Chetro Ketl when the photo was taken. Rather than being far from the bustle of the world, those living at Chaco Canyon in the summer of 1929 must have found themselves in a lively social setting. Photograph by Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1929.