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1991 Report on Edward Curtis Prints
OAC IdentifierCUR; 77-97; CUR; 77-96
Title1991 Report on Edward Curtis Prints
Artwork Description1 p. 1991 Report by Christopher Cardozo, guest curator, on Curtis Edward prints.
LC SubjectArt -- Documentation
Art -- Exhibitions
CreatorCardozo, Christopher
About the ArtistBorn in 1868 in rural Wisconsin, Edward Sherrif Curtis moved with his family to Southern Minnesota before he reached the age of five. Photography was then a very new technology and an even more nascent art form, and Curtis was fascinated by it from a very early age. By the time he reached his teens he had built his own camera. By his mid-teens, Curtis had spent a great deal of time reading about and experimenting with photographic techniques and ideas. At the age of seventeen, he moved to Saint Paul, where he spent more than a year as an apprentice photographer. In 1887, his father's failing health caused the family to move to the Northwest. This move would later turn out to be a major factor in Curtis' subsequent interest in the American Indian. Thus, although he was large self-taught, Curtis was not only well-versed in the fundamentals of photography, but also was a serious and dedicated practitioner by the time he was twenty years old. During his lifetime, Curtis was widely acknowledged as a skilled portrait photographer, master printmaker, film-maker, lecturer, adventurer and mountaineer. Today, however, Curtis is primarily known as a master photographer and ethnographer of the North American Indian. This is undoubtedly as it should be, for he left us a photographic and ethnographic record unparalleled in the history of publishing. This massively ambitious undertaking entitled "The North American Indian" was the principal vehicle Curtis used to communicate his passionate obsession with recording the image, history, culture and spiritual life of the American Indian. This photo-ethnographic study compresses over two thousand original photographic prints (photogravures) as well as approximately six thousand pages of text. The project ultimately cost Curtis his family, his financial security, and his health. Nevertheless, he single-mindedly pursued his intense and powerful vision with an extraordinary sense of mission and thereby left us with an irreplaceable record which, after decades of obscurity, is once again appreciated as an extraordinary artistic and historical achievement. The fact that Curtis was able to make such an intimate record during the very period when the American Indian's way of life was being destroyed by the White man, makes his accomplishment all the more remarkable. (1987, Christopher Cardozo, Guest Curator for a Curtis exhibition as the Minnesota Museum of Art)
Regional Arts CouncilThe Oregon Arts Commission has ten Regional Arts Councils that provide delivery of art services and information. The Council for this location is: Mid-Valley Arts. You may view their website at:
Award Date(s)1976
Source Formatblack and white
Artwork SiteSalem Oregon. State Capitol Building. Photograph Collection
Site Address900 Court Street N.E., Salem, Oregon
CountyMarion County, Oregon
Relates to ArtworkFish Carrier, Wishram; Dip-Netting in Pools, Wishram
Full TextCHRISTOPHER CARDOZO FINE 19TH & 20TH CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY SPECIALIZING IN THE WORK OF EDWARD S. CURTIS 2601 IRVING AVENUE SOUTH ? MINNEAPOLIS ? MINNESOTA 55408 612:377.2252 October 2, 1991 REPORT ON EDWARD CURTIS PRINTS FROM CONVERSATION WITH CURTIS PRINT SPECIALIST: Christopher Cardoza 2601 Irving Avenue So. Minneapolis, MN 55408 612-377-2252 PAPER USED: The two prints in the State Capitol Percent for Art collection are tissue prints. At the time of their printing they were done on one of three papers: Van Gelder, Japanese vellum, and India proof or tissue. A premium was paid at the time of issue for works on tissue because printing on the tissue was a more difficult process. The quality of print on this paper was also better because of the very smooth surface. About 60% of the prints were done on Van Gelder, 30% on vellum, and 10% on tissue. BACKGROUND: These photogravure prints by Curtis were produced 1906-1930 and the body of work was entitled "North American Indians." 20 books and 20 portfolios were produced. The two prints in the Capitol collection were from Portfolio 8. CONDITION REPORT ON "FISH CARRIER" AND "DIP NETTING": Both prints exhibit bad acid deterioration which, in time, will destroy them totally. They need conservation by a specialist and lamination to a pure mulberry paper and refraining is recommended after the pieces have been treated. Museum IN glass is recommended after treatment. CONSERVATOR: David Dudley, Art Conservation Resource Center, Beacon St., Boston, is the recommended conservator specializing in restoration of Curtis prints. The price for bleaching and cleaning would probably run $200 - $250 for both prints. Art Conservation Resource Center, 617-262-5288 David Dudley 77 Scituate Ave. Scituate, MA 02066
RightsCopyright is retained by the artist or author. All rights reserved.
ContributorsUniversity of Oregon Libraries; Oregon Arts Commission
PublisherUniversity of Oregon Libraries
Digital Collection TitleUniversity of Oregon. Libraries. Oregon Public Percent for Art Digital Collection.
Contributing InstitutionContributing Institution
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