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An artistic, cultural and historical treasure comes to the MSU Museum beginning Jan. 12 with the exhibition, “The Wanamaker Collection: A Tribute to Susan Applegate Krouse.”
This renowned collection of images of Native Americans features over 8,000 images taken between 1908 and 1923 and is recognized as the largest and one of the most noteworthy collections of photographs of Native Americans by a single photographic enterprise in the United States.
“The Wanamaker Collection,” featuring 30 photographs, is on loan from the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at University of Indiana, Bloomington, Ind., and its exhibition at the MSU Museum is a special tribute to former adjunct curator of anthropology, Susan Applegate Krouse (1955-2010). Krouse cataloged the collection while a graduate student at Indiana University; and her work enabled students, faculty, researchers and scholars from around the world to view and research the materials. Her 2007 book, “North American Indians in the Great War,” was based on the collection’s documents and photographs. Krouse was also associate professor of anthropology in the College of Social Science and director of the American Indian Studies Program at MSU. (Learn more:
“The Wanamaker Collection” chronicles the history of the collection, the range and variation of images, and the uses and study of the collection, which had its start in 1908 when photographer Joseph K. Dixon set out on his first trip to the American West to record images of Native Americans. Dixon, funded by John and Rodman Wanamaker of the Wanamaker Department Stores, spent the next 15 years in a series of "expeditions" taking photographs and amassing documentation. The images in the Wanamaker Collection depict Dixon's changing perceptions of Native Americans and his appreciation of the diversity of Indian cultures and the dignity of individual people. (For more about the Wanamaker Collection and a new digital database, see:
The exhibit at the MSU Museum is sponsored by the MSU Department of Anthropology and American Indian Studies Program and runs through April 22 in the Community Gallery. An opening reception is set for Thursday, Jan. 12, 4-6 p.m. 
(The traveling exhibit is sponsored by the Moveable Feast of the Arts Program at Indiana University Bloomington and funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. The program was initiated by the IU Office of the President, with oversight provided by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.)