Edward S. Curtiss Influence On American Photography

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Another man that was a great Native American photographer is Edward S. Curtis. He was born in 1868 in rural Wisconsin. Curtis probably had some contact with American Indians while growing up in Minnesota. However, most traditional Indian life there had disappeared by the time he and his family arrived in the 1870s, and there is no specific evidence of American Indian influence on his life at that time. At the age of twelve, Curtis built himself a camera using a stereopticon lens his father had brought back from the Civil War. Curtis demonstrated the self-direction, ingenuity, and independence that would be the hallmarks of his adult life. This is how he began his photographic career. During his mid-teens, Curtis spent a great deal of time reading about and experimenting with photographic techniques and…show more content…
His trips to photograph the area’s spectacular mountain and ocean scenery led him to encounter small pockets of Native Americans who still maintained some of their traditional lifestyles. Curtis began exploring an interest that would ultimately result in the most comprehensive photo, the ethnographic record of the North American Indians ever created. By 1898 Curtis had begun receiving recognition from both the photographic community and the general public for his American Indian photographs. By the turn of the century, Curtis’s photographs of Indians were winning national awards and were being exhibited internationally, bringing him a new source of income and recognition. Curtis made tens of thousands of negatives throughout the western United States and Canada. Later, Curtis embarked on his first self-financed, self- directed trip into the field: a journey to the Southwest to meet the Navajo, Apache, and Hopi peoples of
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