Edward S Curtis (American, 1868-1952)
'Havachach - Maricopa'
from 'The North American Indian: Being a Series of Volumes Picturing and Describing the Indians of the United States and Alaska', Vol. 12, published in 1907, plate no. 64, photogravure, inscribed 'From Copyright Photograph 1907 by E.S. Curtis, Photogravure by John Andrew & Son'
40.5 x 26.5cm, mounted
'The North American Indian', is one of the most expensive undertakings in the history of book production and one of the most comprehensive ethnographic records of the native tribes of North America, or of any aboriginal people.
'The North American Indian' took sixteen years longer to complete than projected and exceeded its budget by nearly $1.4 million. Curtis's immense work contains one of the largest visual records of Native Americans in existence, produced in lavish style under the patronage of J Pierpont Morgan.
Edward Sheriff Curtis was born in White Water, Wisconsin, in 1868, but his great interest in American Indians developed after his family moved to Minnesota. Here, Curtis lived near the Chippewa, Menominee, and Winnebago tribes. Through instruction manuals available at the time, the teenage Curtis built crude cameras and taught himself the rudiments of photography. In 1887, the Curtis family moved to Washington Territory in order to find a more temperate climate for Curtis's ailing father. There Edward Curtis encountered many of the Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest. The sudden death of his father left Curtis responsible for the family, and he provided for them by farming, fishing, digging clams and doing chores for neighbours. Throughout this time, Curtis continued to hone his photographic skills and, in 1891, purchased a share in a photographic studio for $150. This venture lasted less than a year, but Curtis soon formed a partnership with Thomas Guptill to build a photographic studio in Seattle.
The process of making photogravures was developed in the 1850s to produce a photographic image from an engraving plate. Once a photograph is exposed, a glass transparency is made from the negative. A series of chemical transfers to a copper plate produces an etched copper plate of the original photographic image.
From 1896 to 1930, Curtis photographed every major Native American tribe west of the Mississippi, taking over 40,000 negatives of 80 tribes. Curtis selected just one twentieth of his graphic record to represent his artistic vision of North American tribes.
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Sold for £260
With stains, both to the sheet and the mount. The sheet with slight warping.
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