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Current Exhibitions

A photo from the exhibition Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time

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
This higher-elevation photograph shows three great houses—Pueblo del Arroyo, Pueblo Bonito, and Chetro Ketl—in addition to what appears to be irrigated areas. The geographic proximity of these three great houses is clear. These and Pueblo Alto, on the upper bench to the right of Pueblo Bonito and not visible in this photograph, create what some have called Downtown Chaco. Historic use of the canyon can be seen in structures near Pueblo del Arroyo and Pueblo Bonito: buildings, a corral, and roads. Additionally, active excavation was taking place at Chetro Ketl when the photo was taken. Rather than being far from the bustle of the world, those living at Chaco Canyon in the summer of 1929 must have found themselves in a lively social setting. Photograph by Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1929.



White House
White House is harder to see now because of the additional vegetation. This is the only site in Canyon de Chelly that is accessible without a guide and is by far the most visited ruin in the canyon. A hiking trail leads to the site from a parking lot on the rim above. A pedestrian bridge over the wash can be seen, as can the hiking trail. Tour trucks and jeeps park at the ruin-end of the bridge, although they ford the wash rather than crossing the bridge. Even outside the wash, plant growth is lusher today, in part because the site is not being grazed as intensively as it was in 1929. Photograph by Adriel Heisey, 2008.



Pueblo del Arroyo
Pueblo del Arroyo lies immediately next to Chaco Wash, and its location inspired its name. When the Lindberghs photographed the site, the circular tri-walled structure on the western extension of the pueblo was being eroded by the wash. Neil Judd excavated a large part of the pueblo in the late 1920s, resulting in the empty rooms visible in both photos. The more modern buildings to the southeast of the ancient pueblo were built by Richard Wetherill in 1899 and served as a boarding house for archaeologists and other visitors. They were converted into the Chaco Canyon Trading Post in the 1930s. The road to Gallup crossed the wash nearby. Photograph by Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1929.



Standing Rock
Standing Rock in Canyon del Muerto. This scene is much like that in 1929, except that the stream has changed its course and the field is now planted in a more standard linear layout. The field is smaller than in 1929 because a small slump of debris from the canyon wall to the left extends farther than it used to. Perhaps in response, additional fields have been planted. Photograph by Adriel Heisey, 2008.