Friday, January 13, 2012
Edward S. Curtis-Keith
The work of Edward Curtis is probably some of the most iconic imagery in the twentieth century. His prints are common in the homes of so many Americans, including my own. I don't need to explain why his work is a source of inspiration. What fascinates me about Curtis career is how many discredited the man's work because he intervened with adding props and changing subjects clothes. Or paying his subjects to document a vanishing race as he put it, referring to the North American Native American. However in his defense, no one has anything like the work he produced, and at a time where Native Americans in the early twentieth century had to dress and act more Western European, Curtis only wanted to document the authentic Native American culture, not the present one at the time. Curtis spent 30 years documenting the Western half of the country's various Native American Tribes, producing over 40,000 negatives in his portfolio. He is someone that every photographer knows, or should know with no exaggeration.