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Exterior of Rain Forest Exhibit at National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Featured in "The Torch," May 1974.

The exhibit was created as the centerpiece of a new ecology exhibit which opened April 6, 1974.

Forest Whitaker

National Portrait Gallery
Born Longview, Texas

Katy Grannan’s 2007 photograph of Forest Whitaker, created for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, captures the award-winning actor in a gritty urban environment that echoes his upbringing in South Central Los Angeles. Whitaker’s contemplative expression also suggests the vision that has contributed to his success. Known for his compelling depictions of complex characters, Whitaker received an Academy Award for his performance in The Last King of Scotland (2006). An athlete in his youth, Whitaker, who received a football scholarship to attend California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, shifted focus after a debilitating injury, going on to study opera and drama, which he had first discovered in high school. For Grannan, pictures such as this one provide a way of creating new insight. As she has reflected: "Photography is a kind of permission—it’s a way in."

Exterior of National Museum of Natural History's Rain Forest Exhibit

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Featured in TORCH, May 1974

A look at the back of the walk-through tropical rain forest exhibit in the National Museum of Natural History. The exhibit was created as the centerpiece of a new ecology exhibit which opens April 6, 1974.

Forest and Native House

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Edge of the Forest

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

National Portrait Gallery

Torching the Amazon

National Portrait Gallery

Harper's Weekly, September 5, 1863

National Portrait Gallery

Dama A Caballo

Catalog of American Portraits

Harper's Weekly, September 5, 1863

National Portrait Gallery

John Marin

National Portrait Gallery

Boris Pasternak

National Portrait Gallery

Ingmar Bergman

National Portrait Gallery

Galen Clark

National Portrait Gallery
Drawn to California by the gold rush, Galen Clark instead fell in love with the beauty of the Yosemite Valley and its surrounding forests. He built a cabin there in 1857, hoping to recover from a bout of tuberculosis. While hunting he discovered a large grove of sequoia trees nearby and named it after Mariposa County. In 1864, partially in response to Clark's promotional efforts to preserve this land, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation granting the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove to California as park land. Clark became known at the time as the "Guardian of Yosemite" for his role as a guide and a protector of the valley. San Francisco photographer Carleton Watkins met Clark on one of his many trips to Yosemite and created this mammoth plate image of Clark standing next to the "Grizzly Giant," one of the famous redwoods in the Mariposa Grove.

Etow Oh Koam, King of the River Nation

National Portrait Gallery
The Mohican chief E Tow Oh Koam was one of five Iroquois leaders to meet with Queen Anne and her court in April 1710. Accompanied by Colonel Pieter Schuyler, the mayor of Albany, this delegation traveled to London hoping to strengthen the tribe's political and trading alliance with England. Since the outbreak of Queen Anne's War in 1701, the French had been regularly raiding poorly protected English settlements in upstate New York. Although the Iroquois tribes had provided the English with some military assistance, the pleas of English colonists for help in this struggle had fallen largely on deaf ears back in England. E Tow Oh Koam and his fellow delegates convinced Queen Anne to commit the resources to help defend the contested border, thereby hastening the war's end and formalizing an alliance that endured throughout much of the eighteenth century.

Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow

National Portrait Gallery
Born upstate New York

The Mohawk chief Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow was one of five Iroquois leaders to meet with Queen Anne and her court in April 1710. Accompanied by Colonel Pieter Schuyler, the mayor of Albany, this delegation traveled to London hoping to strengthen its political and trading alliance with England. Since the outbreak of Queen Anne's War in 1701, the French had been regularly raiding poorly defended English settlements in upstate New York. Although the Iroquois tribes had provided the English with some military assistance, the pleas of English colonists for help in this struggle had fallen largely on deaf ears back in England. Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow and his fellow delegates convinced Queen Anne to commit the resources to help defend the contested border with France, thereby hastening the war's end and formalizing an alliance that endured throughout much of the eighteenth century.

John K. Hillers

National Portrait Gallery
The photographic equipment that John K. Hillers used during John Wesley Powell's western surveys included cameras, a portable darkroom, and glass-plate negatives that together weighed more than a thousand pounds. This photograph shows Hillers inspecting a photographic plate in Utah while surrounded by such equipment. A German immigrant who was a Union sergeant during the Civil War, Hillers joined Powell's survey in 1871 when Powell needed a boatman for his expedition down the Colorado River. Hillers was hired at first as a laborer, but when he expressed an interest in photography, the survey's official photographer taught him the wet-plate process. Hillers continued to work for Powell when he became head of the Bureau of Ethnology in 1879 and devoted six years to documenting Native American communities in the Southwest. Like other photographers associated with western expeditions, Hillers made important contributions to the scientific understanding of the lands and Native peoples of the West.

Ho Nee Yeath Taw No Row

National Portrait Gallery
Born upstate New York

The Mohawk chief Ho Nee Yeath Taw No Row was part of the delegation of Iroquois leaders who met with England’s Queen Anne in 1710. While in London, he and the other delegates were lavishly entertained and showered with gifts. In addition to presenting the group with a silver communion plate and other furnishings for a new chapel that missionaries were establishing in Mohawk territory, the queen also commissioned oil portraits of each of the delegates. The resulting paintings by John Verelst are believed to be the first full-length oil portraits of Native Americans. So popular were Ho Nee Yeath Taw No Row and his fellow ambassadors that printmaker John Simon created mezzotints after these paintings.

Charles I

National Portrait Gallery

Jonathan Letterman

National Portrait Gallery
With this group portrait, Gardner turned his attention to the medical corps of the Army of the Potomac, spotlighting the importance of Dr. Jonathan Letterman, who was named its medical director, with the rank of major, in June 1862. Letterman is credited with revolutionizing battlefield medicine, and his work as both a physician and manager was essential in bringing care of the wounded up to standard after the early battles exposed the army’s shocking unpreparedness to care for its casualties. Letterman systematized treatment, adopting the triage system for categorizing the severity of wounds. He also made sure that the doctors and medical staff were as close to the battlefield as possible, and he created mobile field hospitals. Letterman’s reforms made a great difference, but the medical staff was always fighting a losing battle against mass casualties on the battlefield and the prevalence of disease in camp.
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