The Long Prayer at the Night Way Ceremony (from the Enduring Navaho series), 1952
Laura Gilpin (American, 1891 - 1979)
gelatin silver print, 16 1/8 x 20 in. (41 x 50.8 cm)
Museum purchase, 1981
© 1979 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Laura Gilpin received a brownie camera from her parents for her twelfth birthday, and used it incessantly for several years. Though she began her schooling studying music, she finally determined to become a photographer. Mentored by Gertrude Käsebier, she went to New York to study, learning the techniques and craft of her trade. Gilpin went on to become one of the great masters of the art of platinum printing which allowed her the large range of tones she sought in her work. She found her true vision in the peoples and landscapes of the American Southwest, and though she made her living taking portraits, by the mid-1930s she began to receive critical acclaim for her photographs of the Navajo and Pueblo peoples and for her landscapes.