Inner Strength: Portraits of Basque Women

(April 2019 – June 2020)

Inner Strength is a tribute to Basque women over more than a century through several generations and bridging two continents. This exhibit features photographs of 110 Basque women by artist Peter Oberlindacher. The body of work in the exhibit is extensive, including previous portraits that he first photographed and exhibited in 2001 at the Basque Museum & Cultural Center. Inner Strength features immigrant and American-born women of Basque descent who settled in the American West and are from five states.

This exhibit combines the artistry of black and white environmental photographs with excerpts of stories as told by the women who came to the West from their homeland in the Basque Country in Spain and France. The character, fortitude and dignity of these women is demonstrated through the use of light and natural interior and exterior backgrounds. Excerpts of their stories, recorded by individuals and various entities over a twenty year period, include themes of work, political oppression, and life in their homeland as well as immigration and integration into society in their new home.

An exhibit catalog featuring photographs of all 110 women along with excerpts from their oral history interviews is available for $24.95 through the Museum Store.  The catalog was published with generous financial support from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based Program of the National Endowment for the Humanities

The collective portraits and stories reveal the fortitude of these Basque women, who made the decision to live in the United States, sometimes amidst great adversity. This is the epitome of Inner Strength.

Sponsored by: Idaho Humanities Council, Idaho Power, and Perpetua Group