Edward S. Curtis

(2116 words)

A prolific photographer and an influential writer, at the height of his fame during the second decade of the twentieth century, Edward S. Curtis dubbed himself “the photo-historian of the North American Indian”. He believed his work was a “monument” to the Native American peoples that he saw as a “vanishing race”. In many ways he had a deep and genuine regard for the spiritual qualities of Indian cultures, especially their religious aspects, but he also thought of his subjects as manifesting characteristics inherently inferior to those of “white” cultures and, thus, as doomed to extinction. His work was motivated – and is characterised – by an uneasy amalgam of artistic impulses, the desire for fame and financial …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Gidley, Mick. "Edward S. Curtis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 March 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=6009, accessed 23 September 2014.]