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Curtis, Edward S.
Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)
Birth Place Near White Water, Wisconsin
Death Place Los Angeles, California
Born Oct. 21, 1868
Died Oct. 21, 1952
General Notes Curtis spent the early years of his life in Wisconsin but in 1877 moved to Washington state, where he developed an interest in photography and opened a studio. His life's work was the compilation of over 2,200 photographs in The North American Indian, published between 1907 and 1930 as a series of 20 volumes and portfolios that documented disappearing Indian lifestyles and customs. This enormous undertaking was sponsored by J. Pierpont Morgan and encouraged by President Theodore Roosevelt. Although initially successful, the large scale of the project, the depression, and Curtis' nervous breakdown prevented its completion. During the course of his work he made over 40,000 negatives of more than 80 tribes and gathered corresponding ethnographic data. Curtis also made photographs on the Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899, which explored the Bering Straits and Cook Inlet. Although most of his work is known through The North American Indian portfolio photogravures, Curtis also made platinum prints, gelatin silver prints, orotones, and occasionally cyanotypes.
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