Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy - Oglala

Refine Filter Results

Skip to Content ☰ Open Filter >>

Image of Oglala

John Willis , b. 1957


18 x 22 in. (45.72 x 55.88 cm)

Medium and Support: Inkjet print
Credit Line: gift of Jeanne and Richard S. Press
Accession Number: 2016.45


Professor and photographer John Willis understands well the exploitation that sometimes occurs
when outsiders enter impoverished communities. So, in 1992, when he first traveled to the Pine
Ridge Indian Reservation in the southwest corner of South Dakota, he assured the elders of the
Oglala Lakota Sioux that he would not exhibit any of the images he took while there. Over time,
however, Willis earned the respect and trust of the community, and the elders—hoping that the
photographs might bring aid to their community—urged him to show his work.
Pine Ridge is the traditional home of the Oglala Lakota, a territory that once covered an
area from Minnesota to the sacred Black Hills (Paha Sapa) of southwestern South Dakota
and eastern Wyoming. Today, the reservation has been reduced to approximately 50 by 100
miles. Most people have heard of the problems with alcoholism, poverty, and gangs on the
reservations; the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee; and the occupation by the American
Indian Movement at Wounded Knee in 1973. But Willis asks, how much do most of us
really know?

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Your current search criteria is: Object is "Oglala".

Addison Artist Council logo

Bartlett H. Hayes Prize Recipients


Reggie Burrows Hodges

Exhibition | Residency | Publication | Acquisition


Tommy Kha

Exhibition | Residency | Publication | Acquisition