Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time
October 25, 2015 through May 7, 2017
For the first time in Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time, large prints of Heisey’s stunning images will be paired directly with the Lindberghs’. The exhibition opens October 25, 2015 and runs through May 7, 2017 at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.
During 2007 and 2008, flying at alarmingly low altitudes and slow speeds, Adriel Heisey leaned out the door of his light plane, and holding his camera with both hands, re-photographed some of the Southwest’s most significant archaeological sites that Charles Lindbergh and his new bride Anne photographed in 1929.
Pueblo del Arroyo, Pueblo Bonito, and Chetro Ketl
The minimal shadows cast by cliffs and walls in this photograph show that it, like its matching Lindbergh image of three great houses—Pueblo del Arroyo, Pueblo Bonito, and Chetro Ketl—was taken sometime close to solar noon. Although it’s high summer in a national park, human activity is low, perhaps because of the heat. A few cars are parked or being driven on roads, but the historic buildings, the ongoing archaeological fieldwork, and the ranching infrastructure that made the 1929 photograph so lively are missing. The park service made a conscious decision to remove historic structures, believing that they distracted from the more ancient Chaco period structures and features that the park was established to protect. Park service roads, parking lots, and trails both guide and constrain the visitor experience, and the landscape now appears comparatively barren. Photograph by Adriel Heisey, 2008.
While still not large, Santa Fe has grown remarkably since 1929. Houses cover the areas that were once farmed, and flat roofs around the Plaza dominate the scene. The Palace of the Governors (now backed by the New Mexico History Museum), the New Mexico Museum of Art, the cathedral, and other beloved buildings are still in use. The Roundhouse has replaced the old capitol building, which was remodeled and converted to administrative use. The river still flows through Santa Fe, at least seasonally, but it is less visible among the sea of buildings that engulf it. A few solar panels show environmental investment by individuals. Photograph by Adriel Heisey, 2015.
Standing Rock in Canyon del Muerto. An archaeological site dating between AD 1100 and 1300 is visible on the lower bench of Standing Rock, closest to the viewer. A circular arrangement of plants in a Navajo field, visible to the left of the rock, suggests that it was an orchard or, less likely, that a center-pivot irrigation system was used there. Photograph by Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1929.
The village of Galisteo, south of Santa Fe, was established sometime between 1790 and 1816. Prior to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, perhaps as many as fifteen thousand people lived in a number of very large pueblos in the Galisteo Basin. When the Spanish returned in 1692, the Pueblo Indians left basin communities and joined other pueblos, mostly along the Rio Grande. Sustained colonial use of the basin, beyond the early missions at the pueblos, started in the late 1700s with livestock grazing and the establishment of a military outpost. By 1929 Galisteo Creek was being used to irrigate farmed fields, some of which were laid out in the Spanish fashion in long narrow strips. Two fenced cemeteries can be seen to the left, and the road encircles the church in the center of the photograph—a building that was probably also the center of the village. Photograph by Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1929.