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Photographs of Arizona, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and South Dakota

Call Number: WA Photos Folio 148

Content Description

Inkjet prints of photographs by John Willis that document sites and persons in Arizona, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and South Dakota chiefly in 2013. Most of the 219 inkjet prints are single images with small groups of diptychs and triptychs.

Photographs of Arizona include views of communities at Navajo Nation including Chinle, Kayenta, and Tuba City, as well as discrete groups of images in Window Rock of the Navajo Military Graveyard and "wheatpaste" photographic poster murals by physician photographer James Edward Thomas, also known as Chip Thomas and "jetsonorama." Other images include views of the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired powerplant located near Page, as well as views of Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell.

Photographs of Nebraska include views of Whiteclay as well as "Camp Zero Tolerance," a protest camp established in April-June 2013 at the border of Nebraska and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that sought to stop alcohol sales in Whiteclay to reservation residents. Informal portraits of protesters include Bryan V. Brewer, the Oglala Sioux Tribal President, as well as camp spokeswoman Tonia Stands.

Photographs of New Mexico include views of landscapes in Edgewood.

Photographs of North Dakota include views of the derelict San Haven Sanitarium owned by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota as well as a small group of images of the aftermath of a trailer home fire at the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation. A group of images documents the oil boom in Williston and the housing for petroleum industry workers.

Photographs of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation include views of communities comprising Allen, Batesland, Kyle, Manderson, Pine Ridge. Porcupine, Potato Creek, and Sharps Corner. Sites documented include staff housing for the Indian Health Service Pine Ridge Hospital, public housing at Potato Creek, sun dance grounds at Porcupine owned by Warfield Moose, and discrete images of the homes of the Dullknife and Morrison families in Potato Creek. Events documented include a memorial service for Alma Richard in 2011 and a fireworks celebration by the Oglala Sioux Tribe for the Fourth of July in 2013. Portraits of individuals include Mercedes Little Spotted Horse, Santana Little Spotted Horse, Andrea Reddest Marshall, Warfield Moose, Wilbur Morrison, and Jennifer Yellow Bull.

Photographs of South Dakota include views of the Black Hills as well as the communities of Interior, Oglala, and Scenic. Images of the Black Hills include Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak) and Mount Rushmore National Memorial as well as portraits of Kagaba shamans visiting the area from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia. Images also document a Fourth of July rodeo at Interior and a portrait of Quincy Red Feather with another man.

Signed, titled, and dated by the photographer on versos of prints.


  • 2011-2013


Language of Materials

Inscriptions in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from John Willis on the Walter McClintock Memorial Fund, 2013, and gift of John Willis, 2013.


Organized into nine series: I. Arizona, 2013. II. Nebraska and Camp Zero Tolerance, 2013. III. New Mexico, 2013. IV. North Dakota, 2013. V. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 2013. VI. South Dakota, 2011-2013. VII. Diptychs, 2013. VIII. Triptychs, 2013. IX. Oversize Inkjet Prints.


32.8 Linear Feet ((16 boxes) + 1 roll)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Inkjet prints of photographs by John Willis that document sites and persons in Arizona, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and South Dakota chiefly in 2013.

John Willis (born 1957)

John Willis is a documentary photographer and instructor of photography at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont. His monographs include Recycled Realities, co-authored with Tom Young (Center for American Places, 2002) and Views from the Reservation (Center for American Places, 2010). Willis has photographs in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, among others. He is also a co-founder with Bill Ledger of the In-Sight Photography Project, a photography outreach project to youth in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

Guide to the John Willis Photographs of Arizona, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and South Dakota
Under Revision
Matthew Daniel Mason and Jennifer Garcia
August 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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Access Information

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