Edward Sheriff Curtis

1868 – 1952

About Edward Sheriff Curtis


Born in 1868 near Whitewater, Wisconsin, Edward Sheriff Curtis became one of America’s finest photographers and ethnologists. Beginning in 1896 and ending in 1930, Curtis photographed and documented every major Native American tribe west of the Mississippi, taking over 40,000 negatives of eighty tribes. For thirty years, he devoted his life to an odyssey of photographing and documenting the lives and traditions of the Native people of North America. His photographs had an immense impact on the national imagination and continue to shape the way we see Native life and culture.

Curtis’ work is not without its critics, and some dismiss him as a romantic. He went to great lengths to reconstruct the past, with the intent of capturing the essence of Native Americans and their traditional culture, though not necessarily their circumstances in 1900. Perhaps his most important legacy is his expression of an extraordinary sympathy with the personal and spiritual lives of the American Indian. In this respect Edward S. Curtis stands alone among the photographers of Native American. His methods may have been controversial, but what a legacy he recorded for us.

Source:  AskArt.com