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Little Shadow Catcher: Photographs of D.F. Barry

Little Shadow Catcher
The Life and Work of David F. Barry

Little Shadow Catcher: The Life and Work of David F. Barry, is a photographic exhibition about one of the most significant photographic artists of the American west. The exhibition consists of 45 archival photographic prints of Barry’s work taken directly from original plate-glass negatives held in the collections of the Denver Public Library.  

David F. Barry worked out of his studio in Bismarck, ND from 1878 to 1890, traveling to military outposts and Indian reservations to photograph soldiers and Lakota people who participated in the Sioux War of 1876. Included here are photographs made by Barry's partner Orlando S. Goff whose images of Lt. Col. George Custer and his officers were highly sought after following the battle on the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory. 

The exhibit explores Barry’s life, work, and legacy during his years in Dakota Territory and features images of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation where Sitting Bull, Gall, Rain-in-the-Face and their people were settled in the 1880s.

Museum of the Rockies Curator of History, Michael Fox examines Barry as artist, salesman, entrepreneur, adventurer, small-town studio photographer and, ultimately, participant in and purveyor of the myth of the American west.


What's great about it!

  • The first traveling exhibition devoted to the photographic works and life of D. F. Barry.
  • Iconic photographs of the early American west featuring Sitting Bull, George Armstrong Custer, Red Cloud, Chief Gail, and many more!
  • The only photographer invited to document the 10 year reunion of survivors (US Cavalry and Lakota) at the battlefield of the Little Bighorn.
  • Discover how a young photographer went from apprentice to master in the rough and ready town of Bismarck, Dakota Territory and whose iconic images of the 19th Century west illuminate our vision of the events of the 1870s and '80s.

What’s in it!

  • 45 framed photographic archival images, 45 16”x 20” and 3 large canvas prints (44 ¼” x 55 ½” and 41 ¼” x 51 ¼”)
  • Six text panels that examine Barry’s work from a historical perspective.
  • Optional large format camera.

For more information and a complete exhibit spec sheet, please call Patrick Leiggi at 406-994-3983 or email; or call David Kinsey at 406-994-5277 or email