James Schoolcraft Sherman's photograph of Chief Red Cloud
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Bell, Charles Milton, 1848-1893
Gill, De Lancey, 1859-1940
No linguistic content; Not applicable
Physical Description:
1 Photograph
24 1/4 x 35 in.
This collection contains an Opalotype photograph of Red Cloud photographed by Charles Milton Bell in 1880. The photograph was in the collection of the 27th Vice President of the United States, James Schoolcraft Sherman.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This portrait of Oglala Lakota Chief Red Cloud was photographed by Charles Milton Bell in 1880. The photo is an opalotype (a direct postive photograph on milk glass) that was owned by James Schoolcraft Sherman, the 27th Vice President of the United States. The opalotype was kept in the family and passed down to Sherman's eldest son Sherrill Sherman, who installed it as a window in his home in Clinton, NY. Sherill's son, Sherill Sherman, Jr. then installed the window in his wife's music studio in New Hartford, CT.

This collection is arranged in one box.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
James Schoolcraft Sherman (1855-1912) was the Vice President under William Howard Taft (1908-1912). Prior to being Vice President, he was a Congressman from New York and for twelve years preceding the Vice Presidency, was Chairman of the Commission on Indian Affairs. He was also a collector of Indian artifacts.
Charles Milton Bell (circa 1849-1893) operated one of Washington, DC's leading photography studios. In 1880 he invited Oglala Chief Red Cloud, also known as Makhpiya-luta, (1822-1909) and the delegation he was traveling with to his photography studio located on Pennsylvania Avenue. Bell photographed both group and individual portraits. De Lancey Gill, a photographer from the Bureau of American Ethnology, presumably printed one of these Red Cloud portraits on a milk glass plate resulting in an Opalotype.

Emily Moazami
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated in 2013 to NMAI in memory of the 27th Vice President, James Schoolcraft Sherman. A gift of the Sherrill Sherman, Jr. family.
Custodial History
The photograph is stored in NMAI object collections.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Emily Moazami, Assistant Head Archivist, 2018.


Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Thursday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Preferred Citation
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); James Schoolcraft Sherman's photograph of Chief Red Cloud, P38087; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not modified in any way, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian. For more information please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use and NMAI Archive Center's Digital Image request website.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Oglala Lakota (Oglala Sioux) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Red Cloud, 1822-1909 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland 20746-2863