Edward S. Curtis in Context
Who was Edward Curtis, and what did he hope to achieve by publishing the twenty volume set, The North American Indian? What was his background, and what were the cultural influences affecting his understanding of the various tribes he sought to document? How was he viewed by his contemporaries in academia, government, and the public? How has the reputation of his work fared in the seventy years since completion of his work? How has he been viewed by Indians then and today? Developed in consultation with an Advisory Board of educators and researchers in American Indian culture, the resources provided in this Special Presentation can help to answer these questions. While consulting online reproductions of the images and captions themselves, the user can look up facts on a Curtis timeline and view a map depicting locations of the various tribal groups when they were photographed by Curtis. Accompanying essays discuss how Curtis worked, what his work has meant to Native peoples of North America, and how he promoted the view dominant in the early twentieth century, that American Indians were becoming a "vanishing race."