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In Citizen’s Garb: Native Americans on the Southern Plains, 1889–1891

On Tuesday, July 5, a selection of modern gelatin silver prints made from glass plate negatives from the photography studio of Lenny and Sawyers will be on display in the Sam Noble Gallery located on the third floor of the Oklahoma History Center.

The Lenny and Sawyers Studio was in operation for a short period of time from 1889 to 1891. Many of the photographs taken by William Lenny and William Sawyers in that period depicted Indigenous people in the Lawton and Fort Sill area. The tribal nations represented in the collection include the Comanche, Kiowa, Apache, Wichita, Delaware, and Caddo.

The Oklahoma Historical Society Research Center was recently gifted the original glass plate negatives from the photography studio of Lenny and Sawyers, and the traveling exhibit entitled In Citizen’s Garb: Native Americans on the Southern Plains, 1889–1891, which consists of modern gelatin silver prints made from the negatives.

The donors of the collection are Joe and Frances Swalwell. The original exhibition was organized by the Museum of the Great Plains in Lawton, Oklahoma, and was previously toured by Exhibits USA.

Collage of Comanche Chief Quanah Parker, a Wichita grass house, two young girls, and a woman seated