Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Edward S. Curtis

Edward S. Curtis was born in 1868 in Whitewater, Wisconsin.  In 1887 his family moved to Washington state which  put him in proximity to the Native American living on the Seattle waterfront.  He would spend roughly the next 30 years photographing and writing about the lives of different tribes of Native Americans.   One of his most famous photographs is that of Princess Angeline, the daughter of Chief Seattle.  This gave him recognition and led to opportunities to expeditions that gained him access to many tribes.

Princess Angeline

Curtis' contribution to recording the traditions and images of Native American tribes is invaluable to our nation's history.  He published many volumes about Native Americans.  Of Curtis, President Theodore Roosevelt said, "In Mr. Curtis we have both an artist and a trained observer, whose work has far more than mere accuracy, because it is truthful. …because of his extraordinary success in making and using his opportunities, has been able to do what no other man ever has done; what, as far as we can see, no other man could do. Mr. Curtis in publishing this book is rendering a real and great service; a service not only to our own people, but to the world of scholarship everywhere."


I am grateful for the images he captured and the dignity he showed to this great people.  To learn more about Edward S. Curtis and his work, please visit here and here.

File:Crow s heart, Mandan.JPG
Crow's Heart:  Mandan

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