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Portrait of Cleveland Bronner
This portrait features Cleveland Bronner as a full length solitary figure with arms extended in the act of worshipful reverence. Bronner appears mostly nude with the exception that he wears a full feather headdress, long plumed boa, sparkling beaded arm and leg bands, and sandals. He takes a confident step forward, with his chin tilted up, generating a seductive atmosphere. The background is completely dark, allowing the lighting to accentuate Bronner's pose. The print appears chemically altered to emphasize the ornamentation with which he is adorned. The bottom right of the portrait is faintly signed "Hixon-Connelly ". In 1919, a black and white version of this photo appeared in Theatre magazine, accompanied by the caption, "This is not really an Indian, but a remarkable study of Cleveland Bronner who is doing unusual dances in vaudeville." Though flamboyant, Bronner's (1885-1968) romanticized depiction of an American Indian reflected widespread interest in Native American culture, particularly dance, during this era. Color rarely made it's way onto Orval Hixon's prints, but this example reinforces the exuberance of Bronner's dances and suggests a sense of movement difficult to represent in a still photograph.