Programs & Services

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

Capturing the Changing Landscape

Standing Rock in Canyon del Muerto. Photograph by Adriel Heisey, 2008 .Courtesy Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. From the exhibition: Oblique Views: Arch aeology, Photography, and Time.

Time passes, landscapes shift, and the only thing constant is change. Mankind has a vested interest in observing the effects of time, comparing what is to what was to better navigate what is ahead. Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time compares photographs of the same landscapes taken eight decades apart.

In 1929, newlywed American aviator Charles Lindberg and his bride Anne swept through the skies of the Southwest, photographing significant archaeological sites. The photos are among the earliest aerial photographic surveys of these sites.

After more than seven decades passed, the Lindberghs’ 198 nitrate negatives of these archaeological landscapes were deteriorating. In 2004, Archaeology Southwest, an organization whose mission is to explore and protect the places of the past, conceived of the Oblique Views project during efforts to scan and preserve those negatives. Adriel Heisey was commissioned to capture new photographs of these archaeological sites to see what changes they revealed.

During 2007 and 2008, Heisey recreated near-exact images of the current landscapes, corresponding with the Lindberghs’ perspective, painstakingly matching the time of year, and time of day. Flying at alarmingly low altitudes and slow speeds while holding his camera with both hands, Heisey leaned out the door of his light plane, and re-photographed the same sites. To ensure he had captured near perfect reproductions, Heisey placed a laptop next him in the cockpit to compare the images he captured with copies of the Lindbergh photos.

The Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time exhibition features seventeen large-scale, then-and-now pairings of the Heisey and Lindbergh photographs, revealing layers of civilizations of the American Southwest from a vantage point few people will ever experience. The side-by-side comparison of the modern images to the original photographs clearly illustrates the passage of time.

In this exhibition, the Lindberghs’ grainy, black-and-white shots record specific sites before excavations, development, and the passage of eight decades, and stand in contrast to Heisey’s more recent photographs.

Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time runs through May 7, 2017 at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture on Museum Hill in Santa Fe.

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is open Tuesday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission $7 for New Mexico residents with ID. $12 for non-residents, free for children 6 and under. The first Sunday of each month is free for New Mexico residents with ID. Wednesdays are free for New Mexico resident seniors (60+) with ID.

Also at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture:

Through October 22, 2017: Into the Future: Culture Power in Native American Art.

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture
710 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe
505-476-1269 | indianartsandculture.org

New Mexico CulturePass

Your ticket to New Mexico's exceptional Museums and Historic Sites.
From Indian treasures to space exploration, world-class folk art to awesome dinosaurs—our museums and monuments celebrate the essence of New Mexico every day.
More Info »

Cultural Atlas of New Mexico Mobile App

Where do you belong?
The Cultural Atlas of New Mexico leads you to historic and cultural places throughout the Land of Enchantment. Organized by region, proximity and interest, the Cultural Atlas will help you find where you belong.

Get it on Google Play

Featured DCA Exhibitions

Generations

The Museum’s first permanent exhibit takes visitors on an odyssey through 150 generations over 4,000 years of
more »

The Cowboy Way: Drawings by Robert ’Shoofly’ Shufelt

The first artwork ever to be displayed at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum belonged to Robert
more »

Girard’s Modern Folk

Girard’s Modern Folk examines the particular ways in which renowned mid-century American designer Alexander
more »

The First World War

The First World War exhibition investigates the contributions of New Mexicans to the war, through letters,
more »