Horace Poolaw, Photographer of American Indian Modernity acknowledges and celebrates photographer Horace Poolaw (1906–84), one of the first professional Native American photographers. Born on the Kiowa reservation in Anadarko, Oklahoma, Poolaw bought his first camera at the age of fifteen and began taking photos of family, friends, and noted leaders in the Kiowa community, also capturing successive years of powwows and pageants at various fairs, expositions, and other events. Though Poolaw earned some income as a professional photographer, he farmed, raised livestock, and took other jobs to help fund his passion for documenting his community. Art historian Laura E. Smith examines the cultural and artistic significance of Poolaw’s life in professional photography from 1925 to 1945 in light of European and modernist discourses on photography, portraiture, the function of art, Native American identity, and Indigenous spiritual and political activism. Smith evaluates Poolaw’s photography within art history and Indigenous history, simultaneously questioning the category of “fine artist” in relation to the creative lives of Aboriginal peoples. Includes 85 black and white photographs, extensive bibliography, and an index.