Portraits of Native Americans from the Plateau Region; [A Portrait of Minnie Krailey, a Native American woman from the Columbia Plateau tribes]
Mountain Home, Idaho: Milton C. Helm, 1911. Near Fine. First State. Copyright Signed by Helm [9.25x6.75in]; Original silver print hand-tinted portrait photograph of Minnie Krailey on stiff paper with textured pattern; Near fine condition with few minor chips along bottom and right edges, age toned on verso with pencil notation and several ink spots, signed by Helm in lower right corner in black ink with copyright symbol. [LOC Lot 12923]. Item #14201
This is a striking portrait image of an older woman with a weary and thoughtful expression looking past the camera. She is dressed with a pale green robe with brown fringe collar and distinctive red designs on a yellow background at the shoulder, dark black braided hair and several cloth and bead necklaces. Pencil notation on back "Northwest Indian Portrait original photo w/ hand tinting signed in image by photographer Milton C. Helm". This image cropped from a slightly larger portrait image that is held in the Library of Congress.
The LOC image is part of a collection of 24 studio and outdoor photographic prints of women, infants and men of the Colombia Plateau tribes (Northern Idaho, Oregon and Washington) that were attributed to a number of photographers in the Pacific Northwest from 1890 to 1940. The sitting portrait of Minnie Krailey was one of four studio portraits in the collection printed with gelatin-silver process. No additional information on Minnie Krailey or which tribe she was part of. She could be from tribes in Southern Idaho, Shoshone, Bannock, or Paiute, near Mountain Home. However, with reference to the Columbia Plateau tribes, she could also be from the Northern Idaho tribes of Nez Perce, Coeur D'alene or Flathead, which are considered part of the Columbia Plateau tribes.
Milton Caldwell Helm (1883-1933) became a photographer in Idaho in the early 1900's. Very little is know about him or his other photographic works. By 1931, his was living in the Idaho State Hospital without his wife and family. In October, 1933, he apparently jump from the third floor of the facility to his death and is buried in the Hospital cemetery.
This map was from the library of the late Dr. G. Warren Smith (1941-2021) of Pennsylvania. He had a long career as university professor and administrator, and was a collector of over 6,000 books, maps, illustrations, and artifacts relating to the Arctic, Alaska and Pacific Northwest.