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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mohave Indian Images and the Artist Maynard Dixon


The sketches by Maynard Dixon photocopied for the present article were all done in 1900. They form an admirable supplement to the photographic series of the Southwest Museum and of the A.L. Kroeber pictures catalogued in the University of California's Lowie Museum of Anthropology, Berkeley. The Dixon pictures of the Mohave (and of one Yuma Indian) have never before been exhibited or published in a group. Many of them are of identifiable persons, the names executed in the simple orthography employed by Dixon. Their greatest significance probably lies in the bold depiction of character, strength, and often sadness shown in the subjects' faces, which cannot be captured by the relatively impersonal and unstudied camera snapshot. They also represent a footnote in the biography of a man who after about 1914 became known as one of the most prominent painters of the American Southwest or of Indians elsewhere in North America; in a true sense he was among the worthy successors of George Catlin (1796-1872) or Frederick Remington (1861-1909).

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