Edward Sheriff Curtis was born in 1868 shortly after the end of the American Civil War. In 1900 he travelled to Montana to photograph the Sun Dance in the region of Piegan and there began his great adventure.
The Morgan family financed his large project: to take photographs of how the Indian populations lived their lives, a collection formed by 20 volumes and was sold by subscription. The first volume was published in 1907 and the last one in 1930.
Curtis worked on his project for 25 years. His respect for these people helped him earn the friendship of those he took photographs of. This way, he took part in their secret rituals. And the tribe’s chief let him in on the “Great Mysterious Secret”…… the Manitu.
He died in 1952, forgotten, in oblivion, and until the early 70s of the last century there was no interest in his work or the legacy it carried.
In recent years, people’s interest in the work of Curtis has raised. Nowadays, the complete series of The North American Indian are priced at more than a million dollars
If you would like to know more, click on the link below:
Northwestern University Library, Edward S. Curtis’s ‘The North American Indian’: the Photographic Images, 2001.