Along with the fame that completing the first-ever nonstop flight from New York to Paris and the notoriety that the kidnapping of his 20-month-old son brought him, the legacy of Charles Lindbergh has another little-known notch: Taken aback by the beauty of the Southwest landscape, Lindbergh and wife, Anne, shot some impressive aerial pictures in the late 1920s.

On Sunday, contemporary aerial photographer Adriel Heisley presents a collection of images that recreate the Lindberghs' early gumption in Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography and Time.

"It's been a long-term project," Heisley tells SFR, "and it's finally culminated in a series of images that are fairly precise replications of the views in each of the selected Lindbergh images."

Composed of 17 photos total, the Gallup-based pilot's current takes on Pueblo del Arroyo, Galisteo and Standing Rock offer a compelling comparison to those original on-the-fly 1929 compositions.

"At their time, they really were not publicized," Heisley says of his elusive inspiration. "So they had not seen the light of day, so to speak, except for a few occasions when they were used as illustrations for archaeological subject matter."

Heisley credits historian and writer Erik Berg, as well as the efforts of the Center for Desert Archaeology (now Archaeology Southwest) for unearthing and preserving the original nitrate negatives.

"In and of themselves, those photographic images aren't anything special, but they are the first, and they are very early, so they have so much intrinsic value and interest because of that," Heisley says of the source material.

The star factor also adds to the appeal.

"The people who were behind them, commissioning them, were clearly quite enthused about Lindbergh's willingness to do the work," he says. "At the time, I think they were seen mostly as harbingers of what was to come, because at that time, everyone involved thought that the Lindberghs would go on to do much more systematic and extensive surveys of archaeological subject matter in the Southwest."


Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography and Time
1 pm Sunday, Oct. 25
Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
710 Camino Lejo,
476-1269