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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Edward S. Curtis papers document all of the photographer's major projects, focusing on The North American Indian, his major publication, the Curtis Picture Musicale, and his full-length feature film In the Land of the Head Hunters. The promotion and publication of these projects is particularly well-documented. The collection also contains the original manuscript musical scores for both the Curtis Picture Musicale and In the Land of the Headhunters. Also included are typescripts and notes for books, lectures, and other writings. There is a small amount of Curtis's original photographic material as well as miscellaneous personal and professional documents.
Background
The headline for a 1905 article in the Seattle Times hailed Edward Sheriff Curtis as "Artist, Explorer, Clubman, Photographer, Historian and President's Friend." Indeed, by this point in his career, Curtis was all these things and more. Now known primarily for his photographs of Native Americans, Curtis's enduring achievement was a monumental, heroic, and theatrical portrayal of the American Indian whom he saw as a "vanishing race." Curtis's depiction of Native Americans was filtered through his interpretation of their pre-contact, rather than current, way of life.
Extent
10.3 Linear Feet (8 boxes, 1 flatfile)