Photo of the Week: Edward S. Curtis

As you might have heard, the Carter acquired a rare, complete set of Edward Curtis's The North American Indian, a 20-volume publication documenting American Indian life. Starting tomorrow, a selection of photogravures from the set will be on view in the Carter's photography galleries.

Only a few Carter staff have had the opportunity to see all 723 of the Curtis photogravures, and I was lucky to be one of them. I catalog all new art acquisitions at the museum, so I have seen each one of these photographs and, of course, have a few favorites. The quality of the whole set is pretty amazing, but these images really stood out to me because they are so different from the Carter's other collections documenting the lives of Native Americans.

Edward S. Curtis, Waiting in the Forest - Cheyenne, 1911
Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), Waiting in the Forest - Cheyenne, photogravure, 1911, Purchase with the assistance of an anonymous donor

Edward S. Curtis, Watching the Dancers, 1922
Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), Watching the Dancers, photogravure, 1922, Purchase with the assistance of an anonymous donor

Edward S. Curtis, Kotsuis and Hohhuq - Nakoaktok, 1915
Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), Kotsuis and Hohhuq - Nakoaktok, photogravure, 1915, Purchase with the assistance of an anonymous donor

Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian is on view through May 16, 2010.


I cannot find a question/answer page on the website. So I am just taking a chance here. I have an extremely intelligent 11-year-old grandson who has been to just about ever museum in the Metroplex -- except the Amon Carter. I am particularly interested in exposing him to American Indian culture; and I was especially attracted to the Curtis showing.

So, here is my question: Is there any particular way to prepare him for the exhibit? Are there any facts that I can give him beforehand (he responds well to beforehand info.)

I shall thank you for any assistance/advice you can give me.

We look forward to your grandson's visit! Be sure to stop by the front desk and pick up a copy of our children's activities for an introduction to the permanent collection.

There are some great online Web sites about Mr. Curtis and his North American Indian project. From the Library of Congress:

Find more images here:

To help put the photos in context, check out "The First Americans: Photographs from the Library of Congress" by Dr. William H. Goetzmann from the Fort Worth Public Library. (

Please join us for our next Family Fun Day on January 10th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. There will be lots of information about the art on display, plus great art activities and general good fun! Ask for Katherine so I can say hi!

You might also check out our online brochure "Visiting the Carter with Children," which provides some great ideas for preparing children for an art museum visit. Our Things to Do Web page also provides a list of fun activities to continue the art experience at home. We look forward to your visit to the Carter!

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