As New. Item #10281
Santa Fe: Arena Editions, 2001. First Edition. Quarto (29x25x2.5cm); 192pp. One hundred and nine full-page photographic plates.
Ecru cloth with paste-on front panel photograph; gold lettering on front panel and spine. Volume is pristine, As New.
Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), one of the most important photographers of the Native cultures of the American West as they survived into the late 19th century, was not an entirely reliable documentarian. He was already consciously "antiquitarianizing" when he positioned his tripod. He gussied up his models and heroicized them, omitting the hard facts of their lives and their treatment, as a way both of pictorializing them and of avoiding any cultural self-incrimination. The Apache, Blackfoot, Cahuilla, Cheyenne, Hopi, Inuit, Mojave, Navajo, Oglalla, Sioux, Zuni, and many other groups were all preserved, in some way, in the amber of his sepia gaze.
Still, the images are crucial evidence, informative and stirring. This volume recreates, in crisply printed form, the exhibits Curtis engineered in the aughts and teens of the 20th century to showcase his work.