Edward Curtis: Sacred Legacy (Cardozo & Horse Capture, 2005) is an extraordinary selection of vintage photographs by Edward S. Curtis, which highlights both iconic and previously little-known images, many are printed in Curtis’ most compelling and rare processes. The prints are among the finest examples that exist and, in some cases, are the only known example of an image. Every style, subject matter, cultural/geographic area, and medium Curtis worked in will be included. The collection from which this exhibition is drawn comprises over 3,000 vintage Curtis photographs and related objects and is widely recognized as the world’s definitive Curtis Collection.
The exhibition showcases prints created in seven different photographic print mediums and will be complemented by objects and other ephemera that will contextualize and enrich the photographs. The different print mediums include photogravure, platinum, goldtone, toned and un-toned gelatin silver, cyanotype, and gold-toned printing-out paper prints, and many of the photographs will be the rarer, seldom seen, mediums. Aesthetically the prints are of a consistently high level, rarely seen in vintage Curtis exhibitions.
History of the North American Indian Project
"We have discovered that one of the primary keys to healing is reconnecting with our culture, heritage and identity. For us, real change must start with knowing who we are and where we come from. The work of Edward Curtis remains of singular importance in this regard. It is through his artistry and his collaboration with Native people that we are allowed to see who we really are. His unique gifts and perspective gives us insight into our own identities and allows us to witness and reclaim pride in being Native.
- Ethan Flatten, Development Director,
Little Earth Community
Edward S. Curtis, 1889
“While primarily a photographer, I do not see or think photographically, hence the story of Indian life will not be told in microscopic detail but rather will be presented as a broad and luminous picture”
– Edward Curtis
One hundred and fifty years ago, Edward Curtis was born in 1868. He was a visionary, an award-winning photographer, a consummate craftsman, an entrepreneur, a publisher, a filmmaker and a ground-breaking multi-media artist. However, most people only know Curtis as a photographer, and then, only from fewer than one hundred images that are commonly reproduced in books or magazine articles. Few people are aware that he created thousands of pages of scholarly, ethnographic text; extensive film footage; and approximately ten thousand wax cylinder recordings of Native language and music. Thus, when viewing Curtis’ compelling images of Native Americans, it is important to keep them in context: they were only one component of a much larger whole. In his monumental quest to make an unprecedented, comprehensive record of the North American Indian, he produced 40,000-50,000 photographs of Native peoples. The culmination of his project was the creation of his magnum opus, The North American Indian, a twenty-volume, twenty-portfolio set of handmade books. Curtis’ core mission was to safeguard and preserve their ‘Sacred Legacy’ for future generations by creating a permanent record of their lives in photographs, film, sound, and text. Today this work stands as a landmark in the history of photography, book publishing, ethnography, and the history of the American West. Viewed in its entirety, Curtis’ work presents an historical record of enormous and irreplaceable importance.
More About Edward Curtis
Exhibit Dates: September 28 – December 16, 2018
Tuesday - Saturday, 10am-4pm
Thursdays, until 8pm*
*Closed Mondays, major holidays, and Thursday evening special events.
Docent-led tours will take place each Saturday during the exhibit at 11:00am. Gain greater insight into the Edward Curtis exhibit! Tours are FREE with museum admission.
Group & School Tours
We're excited to see you at The Trout Museum of Art! Please contact our Education Coordinator, Marci Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (920) 733-4089 to discuss tour options.
Students and Seniors: $5
Children 5 - 10: $2
Children 4 and under: FREE
For more information please contact The Trout Museum of Art:
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The Trout Museum of Art
Fox Cities Building for the Arts
111 W. College Avenue
Appleton, WI 54911
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Admission varies by Exhibit.