Crowning Acquisition

From the auction listing:

Very rare and stunningly beautiful, ca1905 large format, sepia tone Photograph of a Native American Navajo Indian seated atop a rock ledge or butte overlooking a vast plain. This outstanding, Art Photo style Photograph measures approx. 13 3/4″ x 18″ and is mounted on its original, photographer’s card mount (overall size of card mount is 14 1/8” by 18 ¼’).

This stunningly beautiful, large format Photograph pictures a young, native American Brave seated atop a rock ledge overlooking an expansive plain. The Brave is bare chested and wears only a loin cloth, numerous strings of bead necklaces and silver bangle bracelets on his right wrist. While the young Navajo Brave is in sharp focus the plain below is seen slightly out of focus creating a wonderful, artistic contrast and composition. The Photo presents the Native American subject in a surrealistic, romanticized manner that was typical of many of the Images produced by Carl Moon.

This Photograph is not signed by the photographer and the only identification is the designation “H88” in the negative at the extreme lower left hand corner. The Photo is in the style of the widely acclaimed Photographer of Native American subjects Karl Moon but we have been unable to confirm Moon as the artist who produced this stunning Photograph. The subject of the image is not identified in any way (as to Tribe or Name) and we are not experts in the identification of Native American Tribal affiliations. We believe the young Brave to be Navajo but are not 100% sure. If anyone can help us to definitively identify the photographer this stunningly beautiful Image or can supply any information regarding the identity or Tribal affiliation of the Photograph‘s subject, the information would be greatly appreciated.

Carl (or “Karl” as he sometimes spelled his name) Everton Moon was born in 1879 at Wilmington, Ohio. He became interested in Native American at an early age. After High School Moon served in the National Guard and decided on photography as a vocation. After apprenticing for 6 years he opened a studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico to begin photographic “art studies” of the Southwestern Indians. Over the next few decades Carl Moon became renowned nation wide and his work was exhibited at The National Museum in Washington, D.C., the American Museum of Natural History, New York and at the invitation of President Theodore Roosevelt, at The White House.

Over the years he formed friendships with his subjects that enabled him to spend weeks at a time in tribal villages, learning about their culture. He set up a photographic studio and began making his first collection of photographs and paintings of the Pueblo Indians. For the next seven years he was in charge of the Fred Harvey Headquarters at the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

This Photograph may be one of Moon’s Grand Canyon Images but we simply have been unable to find any information about this Photo or any other examples in any online data base.

This very rare and stunningly beautiful, large format Carl Moon-style, Native American subject Art Photo is in very good condition. The Photograph exhibits sharp focus, strong contrast and rich tonality – the rich warn tones of this beautiful Image is an example of the very best of the early 20th century Native American Art Photos.


3 thoughts on “Crowning Acquisition”

  1. i am aching to ask how fierce the competition for this item was and what you paid. I was brought up to NEVER ask that type of question. I am a big girl now, so stuff my convent school education. How much did it cost??? (I don’t really expect an answer but hell I’m curious)

    It is beautiful. by the way!

    1. Looks like there were 12-13 other bidders. Starting bid was $9 USD. Closing bid was, well, let’s just say more than that. Enough, but not too much. I was willing to go higher than I did, but not much.

      1. It is often difficult to know when enough is enough in any auction. Even harder on Ebay as there are so many days of lusting for the object to get carried away! Thanks for the info. It really is a STUNNING photo!

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