|Edward Curtis with his daughter Beth in a kayak in Alaska, 1927. Negative AK72onn, Photo Lot 2010-28, |
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
During the early part of the twentieth century, Curtis embarked on a monumental project to document American Indian tribes that still maintained “their primitive customs and traditions” in twenty volumes of The North American Indian. Though the project bankrupted and nearly destroyed him, Curtis’s soft-focus images of a “vanishing race” have defined popular depictions of native peoples for good and ill. The photographs are rife with controversy and scholars have described them as both supportive and repressive of the people they depict.
|Portrait of Bell Rock by Edward S. Curtis. NAA INV 03078100,|
Photo Lot 59, National Anthropological Archives,
|Photogravure printing plate for Plate 414: Chaiwa– Tewa; 1921; Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian, Box F24; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.|
|Glass negative edited by Edward Curtis for publication as “Sunset in Navaho-land,” plate 38. Negative 1042gcn, Photo Lot 2010-28, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.|
Contract Photograph Archivist
National Anthropological Archives