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Edward Sheriff Curtis (American, 1868–1952)
LOT ID: 67166
Kwakiutl Totem, ie. circa 1914

8 х 5.75 in. (20.32 x 14.6 cm.)
Inscribed, In black pencil on verso "a124-x"
In ink on verso "kwakiutl"
Print/Casting Year ie. circa 1914
Lot description
Print Size: 8" x 5.75"(20.3cm x 14.6cm)

The gallery retail for this photograph is: $6,500
Auction Estimate: $4,500 - $5,500

This is an extremely rare and undoubtedly unique field print created in the cyanotype process. Curtis’ cyanotypes were the very first prints made from a negative. The cyanotype process allowed the prints to be made in the field without enlargers or complex chemistry. It was a way to give Curtis feedback about the negatives, as well as, to use as gifts to his Native American subjects. Unfortunately, almost all of Curtis’ cyanotypes have been lost or destroyed. Of those that survive, they are often the only extant evidence of a Curtis negative, which has also typically been lost or destroyed, as is the case with this rare print.

This print is in very good condition.
Minor, shallow crease (2.25"-5.7cm) at the upper left corner, primarily visible in raking light; scattered, minor handling creases/marks, primarily visible only upon close inspection; and the upper and lower print margins are irregular (i.e. hand-cut) as is common with Curtis’ field prints.
Print quality is excellent.

Edward Curtis is the most widely collected fine art photography in the history of the medium, and his work is found in major public and private collections internationally. He has also become the most widely exhibited. His work has moved viewers on every continent but Antarctica. He created an unprecedented body of work, which has won awards and accolades internationally. While the project nearly drove him into bankruptcy and cost him his health and family, today the aggregate value of the photographs he created exceeds one half of a billion dollars. Please see biography link above for further details.
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