Edward Sheriff Curtis

- Selected Works
- Biography

Born in 1868 near Whitewater, Wisconsin, Edward Sheriff Curtis became one of America’s finest photographers and ethnologists. When the Curtis family moved to Port Orchard, Washington in 1887, Edward’s gift for photography led him to an investigation of the Indians living on the Seattle waterfront. His portrait of Chief Seattle’s daughter, Princess Angeline, won Curtis the highest award in a photographic contest. Having become well-known for his work-with the Indians, Curtis participated in the 1899 Harriman expedition to Alaska as one of two official photographers. He then accompanied George Bird Grinell, editor of Forest and Stream, on a trip to northern Montana. There they witnessed the deeply sacred Sundance of the Piegan and Blackfoot tribes. Travelling on horseback, with their pack horses trailing behind, they emerged from the mountains to view the valley floor massed with over a thousand teepees – an awesome sight to Curtis and one that transformed his life. Everything fell into place at that moment: it was clear to him that he was to record, with pen and camera, the life of the North American Indian. Edward S. Curtis devoted the next 30 years photographing and documenting over eighty,tribes west of the Mississippi, from the Mexican border to northern Alaska. His project won support from such prominent and powerful figures as President Theodore Roosevelt and J. Pierpont Morgan. From 1911-1914 Curtis also produced and directed a silent film based on the mythology of the Rawakiutl Indians of the Pacific Northwest. Upon its completion in 1930, the work, entitled The North American Indian, consisted of 20 volumes, each containing 75 hand–pressed photogravures and 300 pages of text. Each volume was accompanied by a corresponding portfolio containing at least 36 photogravures.

- Exhibitions
  • 2019

    Edward Sheriff Curtis. Beauty Heart & Spirit, Schumacher Gallery, Columbus, OH

  • 2018

    By Her Hand: Native American Women, Their Art, and the Photographs of Edward S. Curtis - High Desert Museum, Bend, OR
    The Realization of a Dream: the Photographs of Edward Curtis - Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Minnetonka, MN
    Edward Sheriff Curtis. Beauty Heart & Spirit - Trout Museum, Appleton, WI
    Beyond the Frame: Inland Bounty, the work of Edward S. Curtis in the Columbia River Basin - Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center, Wenatchee, WA

  • 2017

    Edward Curtis & the North American Indian: Motherland, Tradition, Spirituality - Exhibition in three parts: Tbilisi History Museum (Motherland) / State Silk Museum (Tradition) / Art Palace of Georgia (Spirituality), Tbilisi
    Edward S. Curtis: Treasures from The North American Indian - The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
    Edward S. Curtis. Among the Kwakiutl - Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY
    Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks - CM Russell Museum, Great Falls, Montana

  • 2016

    Sacred Legacy - Edward S. Curtis and The North American Indian - VB Photographic Centre, Kuopio
    Edward Curtis - Selections From The North American Indian - Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME

  • 2015

    Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks - Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA
    Mingled Visions: Image from The North American Indian Collection - Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery - Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA
    Edward Sheriff Curtis and Native Americans: Works from The Dorsky Permanent Collection - Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (SDMA), New Paltz, NY

  • 2014

    Edward Curtis in the Southwest - Museum of the Southwest, Midland, TX
    Edward S. Curtis - The North American Indian - Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando, FL

  • 2013

    Edward Curtis - FMoPA - Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Tampa, FL
    Edward Curtis: Visions of Native America - Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO
    Edward Sheriff Curtis, la danza della memoria, De Primi Fine Art, Lugano, Switzerland.

  • 2010

    Edward S. Curtis From the Sparks Collection, - Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO
    Mingled Visions: Selections from Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian - Wichita Art Museum WAM, Wichita, KS

  • 2009

    Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian - Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX
    Sacred Legacy: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian - Amerikahaus, Munich
    Edward Curtis: Photogravures from 'The North American Indian' - Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
    Edward S. Curtis - Open Shutter Gallery, Durango, CO
    Considering Edward Curtis: Recent Gifts to the Permanent Collection - The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA

  • 2008

    Impressões Visuais - CAM - Casa Andrade Muricy, Curitiba
    Edward S. Curtis - Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CA

  • 2007

    Posvatný odkaz - GALÉRIA Z, Bratislava
    Sacred Legacy. Edward Curtis and the Northamerican Indian - Glyptotheque - Sculpture Museum, Zagreb

  • 2006

    Sacred Legacy - Gallery of Photography, Dublin
    Sacred Legacy - Edward Curtis and the North American Indians - Brandts Klædefabrik, Odense
    Edward S. Curtis - Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg

  • 2005

    Edward S. Curtis - Photographien - Camera Work, Berlin
    Edward S. Curtis - Galerie Sonia Zannettacci, Geneva

  • 2004

    Edward Curtis - Oswald Gallery, Jackson, WY
    Edward S. Curtis. L’eredità degli Indiani del Nord America - Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia
    Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian - Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OK

  • 2003

    Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) - Fotomuseum Den Haag, The Hague
    Edward S. Curtis - Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia
    Edward Curtis - The Shadow Catcher - The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA

  • 2002

    The Master Prints of Edward S. Curtis - Portraits of Native America - Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX

  • 2001

    The Master Prints of Edwards S. Curtis - Portraits of Native America - Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
    Edward S. Curtis - Musée de l´Elysée, Lausanne

  • 1999

    Edward Sheriff Curtis - Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, ON
    The North American Indian - Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, CA

  • 1990

    Images of an Idyllic Past: The Photographs of Edward S. Curtis - Missoula Art Museum MAM, Missoula, MT

  • 1989

    Edward Sheriff Curtis - Musée de l´Elysée, Lausanne

  • 1987

    Western Photographics of Edward Curtis - Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), Indianapolis, IN

  • 1986

    Edward S. Curtis - Le Chateau d'Eau, Toulouse
    Edward Curtis - Mercer Union - A Centre For Contemporary Visual Art, Toronto, ON

  • 1984

    Edward Sheriff Curtis: The North American Indians - University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA

  • 1983

    Edward S. Curtis: Photographer - University Avenue, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON

  • 1975

    Edward Curtis: The North American Indian - The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

  • 1932

    Plates of The North American Indian, by Edward S. Curtis - The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

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