viola j. ortner


I am really part of both worlds. I view this as being positive, constructive. 

My expertise puts me in a valuable position. No one can pull the wool over my eyes.    

Vyola J. Ortner, 1980


Vyola J. Ortner was vice chairman and chairman of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Tribal Council from 1952 to early 1959. During the 1950s, she was also an executive officer of the California Indians Congress and the National Congress of American Indians. From 1973 to 1980, she served as both a member and chairman of the Palm Springs Planning Commission. In 1980, she was elected to the City Council of Palm Springs, the only Agua Caliente Cahuilla to serve in that city’s government. Until her death at 95 years old, she was the most senior tribal elder of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, continuing to call Palm Springs her home. 


Diana C. du Pont


Modern Palm Springs is a tale of two cultures in collision, and Olinger is at its epicenter.  

Diana du Pont, 2011   


Diana C. du Pont is a writer and curator. A specialist in modern and contemporary art, she began her career as a photography curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. During fifteen years at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, her latest curatorial appointment, she brought international recognition to the institution for its Latin American art collections, exhibitions, and publications. Her books include Tamayo: A Modern Icon Reinterpreted; Risking the Abstract: Mexican Modernism and the Art of Gunther Gerzso; and Florence Henri: Artist-Photographer of the Avant-Garde. She is currently at work on her forthcoming book, Another Kind of Motherhood.


Ross O. Swimmer & lowell john bean

Ross O. Swimmer, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, 1975-85; Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs, 1985-89; and Special Trustee for American Indians, United States Department of the Interior, 2001-09, and Lowell John Bean, Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, California State University, Hayward, contribute forewords to the book.