Home > Exhibitions & events > Portraits of Native Americans – An Exhibition of Photos by Edward S. Curtis–
  • Dates and Times
  • March 1 – May 31, 2013
    Open everyday from 10:00 - 19:00(last entry: 18:50)
  • Venue
  • Admission
  • Free
  • Organized by
  • FUJIFILM Corporation
  • Cooperation
  • Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts
  • Planning by
  • Crevis Inc.
  • Current exhibitions & events

Portraits of Native Americans – An Exhibition of Photos by Edward S. Curtis

Flash Area.

Please note that this exhibition closed on Friday, May 31, 2013

The Photo History Museum in FUJIFILM SQUARE is pleased to announce the photo exhibition “Portraits of Native Americans – An Exhibition of Photos by Edward S. Curtis” which runs from March 1 – May 31, 2013.

Edward. Curtis was born in the state of Wisconsin in the American Midwest in 1868. He was a self-taught photographer and established a reputation at an early age for his portrait photography. In 1900, Curtis was invited to attend a Sundance ritual practiced by the Blackfoot tribe in the state of Montana, and took the opportunity to capture the ceremony in photographs. Fascinated by their cultures and customs, Curtis began to further deepen relations with various native tribes, taking portraits and documenting their traditional life in photographs.

With funding from then President Theodore Roosevelt and the banker J. P. Morgan, Curtis embarked on a 23-year project to produce a series of 20 photographic volumes entitled The North American Indian, which sought to record the traditional customs and way of life of Native Americans before these were swallowed up by the rapid process of modernization and disappeared completely. Curtis always took great pains to portray his photographic subjects with the utmost dignity, and his works were highly acclaimed for their noble purpose and beauty.

We are delighted to welcome all visitors to this exhibition of valuable vintage prints taken by Curtis at the beginning of the 1900s using the orotone, or gold tone, photographic technique.

Profile of Edward S. Curtis (1868- 1952)

Curtis was born in the state of Wisconsin in 1868. He studied photography and set up a photographic studio in Seattle, gaining success for his romantic portraiture and landscapes of the American West. In 1899, he was appointed official photographer on a scientific expedition to Alaska organized by wealthy railroad magnate Edward Harriman. During the expedition, Curtis became increasingly fascinated by Native Americans, and began to specialize in photographs of their customs and lifestyles. Curtis quickly realized that he had become a witness to the disappearing culture of the indigenous peoples of North America, and in 1900 embarked on a journey to the plains of the American West and Southwest and to the northwestern coastal regions to compile a photographic record of the cultures of the local indigenous inhabitants.

Receiving funding from then President Theodore Roosevelt and the millionaire banker and financier J. P. Morgan, Curtis embarked on a journey encompassing the entire region from the Mississippi River to Alaska, and conducted surveys and photo sessions of over 80 different native tribes. In 1907, he published the first of his 20-volume series of photographs titled The North American Indian, which included some 1,500 prints, and which was finally completed in 1930.

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