William Henry Jackson was an American photographer, artist, and explorer. He is best known for his images of the American West. He was a great-great nephew of Samuel Wilson, the progenitor of Uncle Sam, America’s national symbol.
Jackson began his career as a commercial portrait photographer but soon became bored, so he began documenting the West in 1870. Using an albumen print process that allowed for incredibly sharp images, Jackson created outstanding landscapes, but it’s his photographs of tribal life and material culture that interest us. His background as a portraitist influenced this part of his work, as shown in figure three below.
The carefully posed images of Pawnee men and women in traditional dress serve as a valuable record, even though they were taken in studios away from their homes and surroundings.