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Edward S. Curtis (1868–1952)
The North American Indian: Being a Series of Volumes Picturing and Describing the Indians of the United States, and Alaska
“Flathead Childhood,” plate 235
[Seattle, Washington]: E.S. Curtis; [Cambridge, Massachusetts: The University Press], 1907–30
PML 19073, vol. III
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

Curtis's photogravure portraits of Native Americans are an extraordinary artistic achievement despite whatever cultural preconceptions may have skewed his views of a "Vanishing Race." Pierpont Morgan and his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr., helped to pay for the field research and production of The North American Indian, contributing around $400,000, about a third of the total project cost. Their support encouraged Curtis to increase the size and scope of his work and to sell it by subscription, although the price was beyond the means of most libraries and collectors. The Morgan set has the distinction of being copy number 1.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.