Edward Sheriff Curtis

23.02.2012 in20:33 in Documentary, People, Portraits -->


Edward Curtis was born near Whitewater, Wisconsin. Curtis’ father, Rev. Johnson Asahel Curtis (1840–1887), was a minister and an American Civil War veteran. Rev. Curtis was born in Ohio. Rev. Curtis’ father was born in Canada, and his mother in Vermont. Edward’s mother, Ellen Sheriff (1844–1912), was born in Pennsylvania; and both her parents were born in England. Curtis’ siblings were Raphael Curtis (1862-c1885), who also was called Ray Curtis; Eva Curtis (1870-?); and Asahel Curtis (1875–1941)., but he is most famous for a report done by glory.
Around 1874 the family moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota. Curtis dropped out of school in the sixth grade. He soon built his own camera. In 1880 the family was living in Cordova Township, Minnesota, where Johnson Curtis was working as a retail grocer. …
In 1906 J.P. Morgan offered Curtis $75,000 to produce a series on the North American Indian. It was to be in 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs. Morgan was to receive 25 sets and 500 original prints as his method of repayment. 222 complete sets were eventually published. Curtis’ goal was not just to photograph, but to document, as much American Indian (Native American) traditional life as possible before that way of life disappeared. He wrote in the introduction to his first volume in 1907: “The information that is to be gathered … respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost.” Curtis made over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of Indian language and music. He took over 40,000 photographic images from over 80 tribes. He recorded tribal lore and history, and he described traditional foods, housing, garments, recreation, ceremonies, and funeral customs. He wrote biographical sketches of tribal leaders, and his material, in most cases, is the only recorded history.