During September and October, A6 Studio & Gallery in Bend will host a series of exhibits and events featuring the work of renowned photographer and ethnologist, Edward S. Curtis.
Born near Whitewater, Wisconsin, in 1868, Curtis devoted his life to photographing and documenting the lives of the North American Native American tribes. When his family moved to Port Orchard, Washington, in 1887, Curtis photographed Chief Seattle's daughter, Princess Angeline. His portrait of the princess won Curtis the highest award in photographic contests at the time. By 1899, now well known for his work with Native Americans, Curtis was invited as one of two official photographers in the famous Harriman expedition to Alaska, the largest expedition the world had seen, consisting of 126 passengers and crew, including many elite scientists and artists. Curtis then traveled to northern Montana, where he witnessed the sacred Sundance of the Piegan and Blackfoot tribes, including the transformative sight of over one thousand teepees gathered on a valley floor.
Curtis spent the next 30 years of his life recording and photographing Native Americans, gaining support for his work from President Theodore Roosevelt and J. Pierpont Morgan. Completed in 1930, his project, called
The North American Indian, contains 20 volumes and includes 75 hand-pressed photogravures and 300 pages of text. Each volume was accompanied by a corresponding portfolio containing at least 36 photogravures. These volumes will be on display at the High Desert Museum from September 4 through October 31. In addition, Tin Pan Theater and BendFilm will host a documentary on Curtis and his work, entitled Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians on September 28.
From 1911-1914, Curtis produced a silent film based on the mythology of the Kwakiutl Indians of the Pacific Northwest, entitled In the Land of the Head Hunters. This film will play at the High Desert Museum on October 19.
Christopher Cardozo, a photographer and art collector, is considered the world's leading authority on Curtis and has created the world's largest and broadest collection of Curtis's work. He will speak at the Tower Theater on September 5 on: Beauty, Heart and Spirit: The Sacred Legacy of Edward S. Curtis and The North American Indian.
Check A6's website for a complete listing of exhibits and events related to Edward S. Curtis.