Edward Curtis

Feature

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Edward Curtis devoted his life to photographing American Indians. He took nearly 40,000 images in the early years of the 20th century. Curtis’ camera captured the Native people as he saw them: brave, stoic, beautiful — living monuments to America’s past. But the images he created are sometimes deceptive, because Curtis often staged them, asking his subjects to wear a particular blanket he liked or pose in a certain way. To inaugurate Studio 360’s series on American Icons, Peggy Berryhill talked with Native scholars and artists about Curtis’s images and their complicated legacy.

Contributors:

Peggy Berryhill

Comments [1]

Wendi Martin from United States

ok, you have wild west show and you have edward curtis. But what about native american icons. nothing is more of an american than the people who were here first. During the founding of the country there are are the Iroqouis nation whose consitution is where the American constitution actually derives from. there is the battle of Wounded knee. the fact that the ghost dance is the reason it became against the law for native to pray in their own way. There is Wovoka, the Paiute medicine man who visioned the ghost dance. there is Sitting Bull who stood against the european incursion for so long. there is Tecumseh who almost managed to bring warring tribes together to fight against the incursion. There is Geronimo, what more famous American is there really? Or moving into the more present. there is Jim Thorpe, the native runner at the olympics, ira hayes who held up the flag at iwo jima, one of the most iconic american images from wwII. the codetalkers, not just Navajo, but several native tribes were codetalkers. John Trudell, who is still a strong voice to this day, or LEonard Peltier who is still in prison even though irrefutable have come to light proving he never killed the agents. or sherman alexie whose Smoke signals brought in a new era showing that Native people are still here and still livng under severe oppression. the list goes on.... the idle no more movement which has been transforming modern day protesting in Canada and the U.S. The fact that more natives are killed by police than any other minority... why are natives still so invisible even though they have had a profound influence on American culture throughout the history of this country. just a thought.

Mar. 02 2015 09:29 PM

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