Captured: North American Indian Photographs by Edward Curtis
Posted Nov 15, 2010
In 1906, American photographer Edward S. Curtis was offered $75,000 to document North American Indians. The benefactor, J.P Morgan, was to receive 25 sets of the completed series of 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs entitled The North American Indian. Curtis set out to photograph the North American Indian way of life at a time when Native Americans were being forced from their land and stripped of their rights. Curtis’ photographs depicted a romantic version of the culture which ran contrary to the popular view of Native Americans as savages.
Born in 1868 in Wisconsin, Curtis moved with his father to the Washington territory in 1887 where he began working at a photography studio in the frontier city of Seattle. Curtis began work on his series in 1895 by photographing Princess Angeline, the daughter of Chief Sealth and published the first volume of The North American Indian in 1907. The last volume wasn’t published until 1930. In more than three decades of work documenting Native Americans, Curtis traveled from the Great Plains to the mountainous west, and from the Mexican border to western Canada to the Arctic Ocean in Alaska.
Below are selected images of the Native American way of life chosen from The Library of Congress’s Edward S. Curtis Collection. Some were published in The North American Indian but most were not published. All the captions are original to Edward Curtis.
Saturday, 12 March 2011
Photographs of Native Americans by Edward Curtis | Plog — World news photography, Photos — The Denver Post