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Shadow Catcher
Harry Lee Harpster, Jr.

On Exhibit
January 7
February 20, 2016

Opening Reception
Thursday, January 14, 2016
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Admission: Members/Free, Non-members/$10

Harry Lee Harpster Jr
Harry Lee Harpster, Jr.

About the Exhibit
The Hockaday Museum of Art announces Shadow Catcher, the first in a series of exhibitions showcasing its recently acquired collection of Harry Lee Harpster, Jr. photographs, to be on display January 7 through February 20, 2016. In 2010, the Hockaday purchased his photographic estate of approximately 2700 black and white gelatin silver prints, tens of thousands of 35mm black and white negatives, over 500 4x5 negatives, and miscellaneous family snapshots and memorabilia. After extensive cataloguing and receiving a grant from the Montana History Foundation, the Museum has planned three introductory exhibitions of these works beginning in 2016. Margaret S. Davis, guest curator for Shadow Catcher, chose to concentrate on Harpster’s Indian Reservation works and had the daunting task of reviewing over 21,000 negatives to arrive at a manageable number for the exhibition. The photographs in Shadow Catcher feature children as primary subjects.

Davis says, “the negatives selected for printing focus on annual pow wows and rodeos, and are more documentary in nature than many of his images. He captured with warmth and ease encampment scenes, preparations for parades and dancing, games of chance, the booths and vendors, spectators, and cowboy competitors.” The Harpsters visited the Blackfeet and Rocky Boy Reservations of Montana most frequently. Between 1979 and 2001, Harpster appears to have made friends and contacts in the process. In addition to the events to which the public was invited, he also photographed cattle drives, homes and ranches, churches, scenery, cemeteries, and individuals.

Funding provided for this exhibition by

Montana History Foundation


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