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Collection: Storytelling: Native People through the Lens of Edward S. Curtis

The photographs of Edward S. Curtis are, at once, a conundrum of breathtaking beauty and an iconography of contradictory emotions. Influenced by the pictorialist movement of the early twentieth century, Curtis set out to create a photo and ethnographic record of Indigenous peoples living in Western regions from the Mexican border to Alaskan shores. His motivation was a belief that U.S. government policy and the land grabs of American settlers might wipe away Native lifeways forever. While Curtis’s intentions were well-meaning, his methods of staging photos bent reality into imagery that is often more art than fact. 100 years later, Indigenous people still contend with “Indian” stereotypes that are consequences of Edward Curtis’s vision. Storytelling: Native People through the Lens of Edward S. Curtis endeavors to present his breathtaking photogravures within the context of American colonialism.

Learn more about the exhibit

14 products
  • Edward S. Curtis : One Hundred Masterworks
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  • Through a Native Lens: American Indian Photography
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  • Our Indian Princess: Subverting the Stereotype
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  • Native American Identities From Stereotype to Archetype in Art and Literature
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  • Shadow Catcher : The Life and Work of Edward S. Curtis
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  • Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher
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  • Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Changemakers from Past and Present
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  • Way We Lived: California Indian Stories, Songs and Reminiscences
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  • 6 Generations DVD
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  • A Guide to Sukinanik'oy Garden of Chumash Plants
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  • Chumash Indian Games
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  • California's Chumash Indians
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