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Title Letter [manuscript]: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, to My dear Mr. [E.A.] Burbank, 1908 Sept. 18
Author Holmes, William Henry (1846-1933)
Document Type Correspondence
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Letter written Sept. 18, 1908 by William H. Holmes to Elbridge Ayer Burbank, western painter and illustrator. In this letter Holmes responds to Burbank’s earlier inquiry regarding the purchase of his oil painting "Snake Dance." Burbank lived and travelled extensively throughout the southwest between 1897 and 1914 painting prominent Indian chiefs, groups of Indians, and ceremonial dances. He lived for some time among the Hopi Indians in Arizona where he witnessed the Snake Dance. In his reply, Holmes informs Burbank that Congress unfortunately has not allocated any funds for the purchase of art work.
Names Burbank, Elbridge Ayer (1858-1949)
Places Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, California, Arizona, United States
Keywords art, Bureau of Ethnology, Congress of the United States, ceremony, ritual
Theme Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Tribe / Nation
Culture Area Southwest
Additional Information

William Henry Holmes, archaeologist and artist, served as chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution from 1902-1920.

For further correspondence regarding Burbank’s painting "Snake Dance," see Ayer MS 120.

The oil painting "Snake Dance" was purchased by the Butler Institute of American Art (Youngstown, Ohio) in 1916.

Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT box Ayer MS 384
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue