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Roland Reed Edit Profile


Roland Reed an American artist and photographer, was part of an early 20th century group of photographers of Native Americans known as pictorialists.


Roland Reed was born in 1864 in Fox River Valley, Wisconsin, United States. Roland was the fourth of six children. He and his youngest sibling, Mabel, were the only two to survive to adulthood.


At age eighteen, Reed set off to draw Indian faces in crayon and pencil. He served an apprenticeship with Dutro in 1893, and furnished Indian photographs to the Great Northern Railroad news department. In 1897 he signed on with Associated Press to photograph the Klondike gold rush. From 1900 to 1907 he operated a portrait studio in Bemidji, Minnesota, which he closed in order to continue his wide travels in Indian country. His work was published in National Geographic, The American West, Arizona Highways and many newspapers.

Working with 11x14 glass-plate negatives, Reed produced a definitive photographic record of the North American Indian. His somewhat romanticized photographs evoked an idealized image of the proud people of the pre-reservation era. A meticulous planner and fine technician, Reed was called by one critic "a poet whose medium of expression is the camera."


  • PUBLICATION Periodical: "The Indian Photographs of Roland Reed," Patricia Condon Johnston, The American West, Mar/Apr 1978.


  • Other Work

    • At The Spring, 1908

    • Nature's Mirror, 1908


Royal Sr. Reed

Royal Sr. (1827-1907) was a farmer and Civil War veteran.

Mary Jane Hammond

Mary Jane Hammond (1834-1904), was a homemaker.

Roy Williams

After Reed's death his cousin, Roy Williams, was his primary beneficiary.

Daniel Dutro

Roland Reed was taught photography in 1893 by Daniel Dutro, a Civil War veteran, prospector and photographer.