Glenbow Museum - Where the World Meets the West

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Tjark Reiss fonds


Physical Description:
191 photographs

W. Tjark Reiss, 1913-2001, was born in Germany but came to the USA as an infant with his parents. His father, Winold Reiss, 1886-1953, who was based in New York City, was a prominent artist and visited Montana in 1919 to sketch Indians. In 1927 he returned to the Blackfeet reservation and Glacier National Park at the request of the Great Northern Railway to paint portraits of the local Blackfeet for the GNR hotel in the park. Tjark accompanied his father on these trips to Montana. In 1934 Winold opened the Winold Reiss Art School in the St. Mary's Chalet Hotel in Glacier Park. Native people were encouraged to set up their tipis near the school and work as art models for the school. Tjark served as the school's secretary and coordinated the logistics of camp operation including transporting native people to the camp and securing rations. He also appears to have been in charge of taking photographs of the proceedings. From 1935 to 1937 he attended architectural school in Austria and subsequently worked as an architect. He married Renate, served in the Second World War, and moved to Hudson, New York. For further information see Andrea Garnier's article, "From the Archives : Tjark Reiss" in Glenbow [magazine], vol. 15, no. 1 (Spring 1995), p. 10-11.

Custodial History:
For tax purposes, the records were donated by Reiss to American Friends of Canada who have loaned it to us on a long-term basis.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of photographs of Blackfeet and Bloods at Glacier National Park in Montana; people and activities at the Winold Reiss Art School; a visit by President Roosevelt and his wife; a tipi being set up; a sun dance; and Blood war party pictographs.

Source of Acquisition:
On loan from American Friends of Canada, 1992.

The material is in English.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)

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