Freeman's
The Luther R. and Frances T. Zehner Collection

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Whitney Bounty
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Published: 10 October 2013

Highlights | The Luther R. and Frances T. Zehner Collection

The November 2013 aucution of American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts featured an outstanding assemblage of Native American artifacts and images from The Collection of Dr. Luther R. and Frances T. Zehner. 

Amassed during the late 1940s and early 1950s by Luther and Frances Zehner while living and working among the Lakota tribe in North Dakota, this collection has been out of sight for more than sixty years and features ceremonial costumes with intricate beadwork and embroidery; tools, pottery, and musical instruments; items that belonged to survivors of The Battle of Little Bighorn as well as photographs by Frank Bennett Fiske, known for his images documenting the everyday lives of the Sioux near Fort Yates, ND.    

Dr. and Mrs. Zehner had a great respect for the Lakota culture and were later initiated into the tribe. Aware that the legacy of the elders seemed to be slipping away in the busy post-war period, Dr. Zehner began to obtain artifacts and to record their histories in his journals and with his camera. He was particularly interested in artifacts from the late 1800s and the early part of the 20th century, as well as items made according to the old ways by contemporary craftspeople.

Highlights from The Luther R. and Frances T. Zehner Collection

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