Frank Albert Rinehart was a photographer in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Rinehart was born in 1861 in Lodi, Illinois and moved to Denver, Colorado in 1878, where he worked under William Henry Jackson and developed his photography skills. While in Denver, he married Anna Ransom Johnson in 1885 and they moved to Omaha, Nebraska where they had two daughters, Ruth and Helen.
In 1898, he was commissioned to photograph the Indian Congress at the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, which was held in Omaha. More than five hundred representatives from 35 different tribes were present. “Working with his assistant, Adolf Muhr, Rinehart set up a studio and gallery at the exposition. Because Rinehart was occupied with recording other exposition events, it is likely that Muhr made many of the nearly five hundred portraits of the Indians attending the Congress. During the next two years, Rinehart and Muhr traveled west to Indian reservations to photograph leaders and members who could not attend the Exposition, as well as the everyday life of the people. His collection is known as one of the most important documentations of Native Americans, as they are portrayed in traditional regalia as well as some western clothing.
The largest collection of Rinehart’s photographs is housed at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.
Author: Merry A. Foresta, American Photographs: The First Century (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of Amer
Restrictions: McCracken Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials. Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation or publication. Contact McCracken Research Library for more information.
Preferred Citation: Rinehart Indian Photograph Collection, MS 56, McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West