Will Wilson

In Conversation: Will Wilson


Will Wilson’s contemporary exploration of self-representation through the science of photography and digital media in response to the continuing impact of Edward Curtis’s The North American Indian (1907-1930).

In Conversation presents the works of Diné (Navajo) photographer Will Wilson (b. 1969) and Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952). Wilson explores the relationship of science, identity, agency, and representation in photography while also considering the lasting legacy of historical photographs on the representation of Native peoples in North America.

Wilson responds directly to the work of Curtis, who is best known for his 20-volume The North American Indian (1907-1930), which was created as a way to capture the supposed vanishing race of Native Americans while also helping to shape public perception of Native peoples. Wilson’s ongoing Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX) addresses these misconceptions through his use of historical photographic techniques and emphasis on a reciprocal relationship with the sitters, which allows for agency over all aspects of their presentation.

Wilson pushes the CIPX project even further into the contemporary with the inclusion of “Talking Tintypes,” which uses AR technology in a convenient app to bring photographs to life. In Conversation is a contemporary exploration of the science of photography but also a response to the historical impact and importance of (self-) representation.


Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Space Requirements

Approx. 1,500 sq ft, 200 lin feet

Loan Duration



    Artwork Gallery


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