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Current Exhibitions

A photo from the exhibition Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time

Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time

October 25, 2015 through May 7, 2017

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.



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.



Galisteo
The village of Galisteo, south of Santa Fe, was established sometime between 1790 and 1816. Prior to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, perhaps as many as fifteen thousand people lived in a number of very large pueblos in the Galisteo Basin. When the Spanish returned in 1692, the Pueblo Indians left basin communities and joined other pueblos, mostly along the Rio Grande. Sustained colonial use of the basin, beyond the early missions at the pueblos, started in the late 1700s with livestock grazing and the establishment of a military outpost. By 1929 Galisteo Creek was being used to irrigate farmed fields, some of which were laid out in the Spanish fashion in long narrow strips. Two fenced cemeteries can be seen to the left, and the road encircles the church in the center of the photograph—a building that was probably also the center of the village. Photograph by Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1929.



White House
White House is harder to see now because of the additional vegetation. This is the only site in Canyon de Chelly that is accessible without a guide and is by far the most visited ruin in the canyon. A hiking trail leads to the site from a parking lot on the rim above. A pedestrian bridge over the wash can be seen, as can the hiking trail. Tour trucks and jeeps park at the ruin-end of the bridge, although they ford the wash rather than crossing the bridge. Even outside the wash, plant growth is lusher today, in part because the site is not being grazed as intensively as it was in 1929. Photograph by Adriel Heisey, 2008.