Library Of Congress Photograph - Profile

SKU: T17887
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Wisteria honors the first Americans with these prints of photographs by American photographer and ethnologist Edward Curtis. Prints courtesy of the Library of Congress.

  • Only at Wisteria
  • From the archive of the Library of Congress
  • Photograph by American photographer and ethnologist Edward Curtis
  • 26"w X 38"h

In the early years of the 20th century, American photographer and ethnologist Edward Curtis (1868–1952) embarked on a 30-year mission which he described as an effort "to form a comprehensive and permanent record of all the important tribes of the United States and Alaska that still retain to a considerable degree their...customs and traditions." He believed that indigenous communities would inevitably be absorbed into white society, losing their unique cultural identities, and he wanted to create a scholarly and artistic work that would document the ceremonies, beliefs, customs, daily life, and leaders of these groups before they "vanished."

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Year after year, he packed his camera and supplies—everything he’d need for months—and traveled by foot and by horse deep into the Native American territories. Thanks to the backing of men like J. Pierpont Morgan and former president Theodore Roosevelt, but at great expense to his family life and his health, Curtis lived among dozens of native tribes, devoting his life to his calling until he produced a definitive and unparalleled work, The North American Indian.

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