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North American Indian Photography of Edward Curtis

Edward S. Curtis, a professional photographer in Seattle, devoted his life to documenting what he perceived to be a vanishing race. His monumental workThe North American Indian was published between 1907 and 1930 and contained over 2000 photogravures in its volumes and portfolios. It presented an extensive ethnographical study of numerous tribes, and the photographs of Curtis remain memorable icons of the American Indian. Although the Smithsonian Libraries owns a complete set of Curtis’ publication, only a small portion of the photogravures has been digitized.

To learn more about the Smithsonian and photography, visit THE BIGGER PICTURE.


Wedding party - Qagyuhl

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

A Nakoaktok Chief's Daughter

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

A Paguate Entrance

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

Dancing to Restore an Eclipsed Moon - Qagychl

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

The Mussel Gatherer

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

The Apache Reaper

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

The Apache

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

In the land of the Sioux

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

Vash Gon - Jicarilla

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

Eskadi - Apache

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

Masked dancers - Qagyuhl

Date: Prior to 1930


North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

Kotsuis and Hohhuq - Nakoaktok

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

Hastobíga, Navaho Medicine-man

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

Jicarilla maiden

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

Apache Nalin

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

The Vanishing Race - Navaho

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

Luqaiot - Kittitas

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

"Yurok Canoe on Trinity River" (Printed on Photograph)

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

Fish-Weir Across Trinity River--Hupa

Date: Prior to 1930

North American Indian Photography, Smithsonian Institution, photography news, diana topan

Collection: The North American Indian Photography of Edward Curtis - Edward S. Curtis, a professional photographer in Seattle, devoted his life to documenting what was perceived to be a vanishing race. His monumental publication The North American Indian presented to the public an extensive ethnographical study of numerous tribes, and his photographs remain memorable icons of the American Indian. The Smithsonian Libraries holds a complete set of this work, which includes photogravures on tissue, donated by Mrs. Edward H. Harriman, whose husband had conducted an expedition to Alaska with Curtis in 1899.

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Diana Topan


5 comments:

  1. mary johnson says

    precious piece of history. thank you photography news and smithsonian institution for these photos.


    Harry O'Conner says

    My roots are north American Indian and I am wondering sometimes how different my life could be now if my ancestors' lives had not been touch by any 'civilized' race in the past...


    Anonymous says

    @ Harry O'Conner
    You'd still be wearing loin clothes, riding a horse without a saddle, hunting with an axe and talking a weird language believing in spirits and dying at 30 because of the poor hygiene and killing/scalping strangers considering them a threat. In short, you would be still an uncivilized savage :)


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