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John K. Hillers

Hopi Mesa
about 1872
albumen print
9 7/8 x 12 7/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase from the Charles Isaacs Collection made possible in part by the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

John Hillers took this picture while working for the Bureau of Ethnology collecting images and objects of Native American life. He concentrated on the Hopi and the Navajo, producing portraits as well as scenes of everyday life. This scene, despite its air of abandonment, is full of signs of life, like the drying fruit in the foreground, a chimney pot, a man standing in front of the house at center, and a sleeping dog.