Artist: Edward S. Curtis
Title: The Scout - Apache
Negative Date: 1906
Print Date: c.1906
Medium: Gelatin Silver photograph
Markings: Signed in ink lower right, "Curtis LA ©"
Print Size: 10.38" x 12.88": (26.4cm x 32.7cm)
The gallery retail for this photograph is: $13,000
Auction Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000
This iconic Curtis photograph was made in the high mountains of Apache-land in Arizona. The lone rider, a scout, rides through the arid mountains surrounded by large yucca plants. He most likely is a member of the White Mountain Apache tribe, which occupied areas of southeastern Arizona. He wears a simple breach cloth and side-knotted headband and is riding bareback, as was the custom.
The inclusion of a strong foreground plus the dramatic cloud formations in the background both isolate and emphasize the horse and rider. The strong backlighting further adds to the drama and the impact of the image.
This rare gelatin silver print is in a form of presentation commonly known as a “Border” print. The duo-tone border was created in the darkroom to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the print. It is estimated that as few as 1 in 500 of Curtis’ prints were done in this way. Curtis rarely made gelatin silver prints for exhibition or sale, as is the case here, thus adding to their rarity and desirability. It is believed that five or fewer border prints of this image exist.
This vintage gelatin silver print is in excellent overall condition. An irregular stain at the lower right corner of the outer border, not effecting the image; adhesive remnants at the upper margin on the reverse side of the print, not effecting image/recto; and scattered discoloration on the reverse side of the print, not effecting image/recto. Print quality is excellent and original ink signature remains strong and crisp.
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.
Artist: Edward S. Curtis