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Photographic portraits of Native Americans from the central and western United States are prominent in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society because of four Bostonian collectors who were active from the 1860s to the early 1900s. The portraits are in several different forms that were popular at the time of their production. Cartes de Visite ("calling cards"), platinotypes, photogravures, and tintypes are all represented in the collection. The striking photograph on the homepage, "The Sunset of a Dying Race", was typical of the theme of early photographs of Native Americans. Visitors should click on the title underneath the photo to read about the manipulations the photographer, Joseph Dixon, engaged in to create the romantic theme of the vanishing Native American. Visitors should check out the "Photographs of Adam Clark Vroman", a photographer who didn't romanticize his Native American photographic subjects. His subjects were "photographed simply, directly, and sympathetically." In addition to portraits, he also took beautiful photographs of the landscapes of the Southwestern United States.
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