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HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > John Loengard: Celebrating the Negative

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John Loengard 
Orlando Scott Goff "Chief Joseph" 1877 
[Celebrating The Negative] 
1877 (original image) 2008 (publication) 
Gelatin silver print 
Etherton Gallery 
Western History Department, Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado
Hands: Paul Harbaugh, 3.13.93
In 1877, Orlando Scott Goff, an itinerant photographer working at Fort Abraham Lincoln, in the Dakota Territory, photographed a Native American, Chief Joseph. For three months the 35 year-old leader of the Nez Perce had led 750 of his people in an escape from their Oregon reservation. After several battles with the U.S. Army during their 1,300 mile trek, the Nez Perce were captured at Bear Paw Mountain in Montana only 40 miles from the Canadian border and freedom.
Postcard-size prints of celebrities like Chief Joseph (about whom there was interest back East) were profitably circulated. For ready identification, the subject's name was printed on onionskin paper which was affixed to the negative before the card was printed.
Later, Goff sold his wet-plate negatives to his assistant, David F. Barry, and moved on to Haver, Montana, where he would serve in the state senate. In 1934, Barry, needing a few hundred dollars, sold all his negatives (and Goff 's) to the Denver Public Library.
This photograph is included in the portfolio Celebrating the Negative photographs by published by John Loengard, Etherton Gallery (2008), pl. 3
All photographs copyright John Loengard. Gelatin silver prints printed by Chuck Kelton, Kelton Labs, New York City, under the direct supervision of John Loengard. Printed on Ilford Multigrade Warm Glossy paper. Design and portfolio box construction by Jace Graf, Cloverleaf Studio, Austin, Texas.
Celebrating The Negative/Photographs by John Loengard was published by Etherton Gallery, Tucson, Arizona, in March, 2008, in an edition of eighteen portfolios, including fifteen numbered copies and three artist's proofs. 
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