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Lot Details

Edward S. Curtis, a professional photographer in Seattle, devoted his life to documenting what was perceived to be a vanishing race. His monumental publication The North American Indian presented to the public an extensive ethnographical study of numerous tribes, and his photographs remain memorable icons of the American Indian.

Curtis is best known for The North American Indians project, in which he photographically documented over 80 North American Indian tribes. The project, published between 1904 and 1928, was comprised of twenty book volumes and twenty portfolios. A total of 2226 photographs were taken by Edward S. Curtis for his work, The North American Indian. Included are images of tribes from Great Plains, Great Basin, Plateau Region, Southwest, California, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska.

By the early 20th century, American Indian nations and people were largely viewed by scholars, government officials and the public at large as a vanishing race. It was within the context of this mythology that Curtis took these photos, and his doing so contributed in no small way to the continued pervasive presence of the myth of the vanishing race in American society even into the present time.

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The seller has recorded the following condition for this lot:
Fading/Bleaching
Area: Image
Location: Center
Notes: Minor fading evident on right cheek of Indian Brave.
Degree: Minor

Definition Key
Area
Image The central image area, composition, or focal point; the area inside the margins/plate marks.
Margin Areas bordering the central image, outside the plate marks, or the perimeter area.
Edge The farthest edge of the object.
Verso The reverse/back of the object.



Degree
Minor An existing condition which generally does not involve risk of loss.
Moderate Noticeable damage, increasing in severity and/or size; should be monitored or corrected by a conservator.
Major Distinct, recognizable damage; the stability of the work is questionable and risk is a factor. Requires the attention of a conservator.
Extreme Advanced and severe damage; work is insecure and at great risk.

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Provenance:
  • Martin Gordon, Inc., New York Private Collection, New York
  • Pickup Location: New York, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 16 x 10.5 in. (40.64 x 26.67 cm.)

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