How a successful Seattle photographer went from society portraits to making 40,000 images of Native Americans in the wilderness of the American West
In this episode, the life and work of photographer Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), who was nicknamed the shadow catcher by Native Americans. His masterwork The North American Indian was monumental, but has also come under criticism for including staged, posed, and manipulated imagery. In this podcast, we learn about Curtis’ life and work — and the project that was his life’s obsession.
1. Makepeace, Anne. Edward S. Curtis: Coming to Light. National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C. 2001.
2. Northwestern University, Curtis Library. Edward Sheriff Curtis. The North American Indian. 1907-1930.
3. The Public Domain Review, Edward Curtis’ Photographs of Kwakwaka’wakw Ceremonial Dress and Masks (ca. 1914)
4. Smithsonian Institution Libraries. “Frontier Photographer Edward S. Curtis.”
5. Smithsonian Magazine, “Edward Curtis’ Epic Project to Photograph Native Americans”
6. Wikipedia. “Edward S. Curtis.”
7. YouTube. Makepeace Productions. “Edward Curtis Dressing Up.”
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