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Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian

Photographer:
Curtis, Edward S., 1868-1952  Search this
Extent:
96 Photomechanical prints (photogravure proofs)
184 Printing plates (copper printing plates)
Culture:
Twana  Search this
Hoh  Search this
Walla Walla (Wallawalla)  Search this
Wishram  Search this
Suquamish  Search this
Skokomish  Search this
Quinault  Search this
Quileute  Search this
Apache  Search this
Tolowa  Search this
Hupa  Search this
Hopi Pueblo  Search this
Squaxon  Search this
Mewuk (Miwok)  Search this
Achomawi (Pit River)  Search this
Klamath  Search this
Yurok  Search this
Kumeyaay (Diegueño)  Search this
Cayuse  Search this
Northern Paiute (Paviotso)  Search this
Santa Ysabel (Santa Isabela) Diegueño  Search this
Kalispel (Pend d'Oreilles)  Search this
Salish (Flathead)  Search this
Spokan  Search this
Yakama (Yakima)  Search this
Sahnish (Arikara)  Search this
Numakiki (Mandan)  Search this
Pikuni Blackfeet (Piegan)  Search this
Tsitsistas/Suhtai (Cheyenne)  Search this
Sicangu Lakota (Brulé Sioux)  Search this
Niimíipuu (Nez Perce)  Search this
A'aninin (Gros Ventre)  Search this
Apsáalooke (Crow/Absaroke)  Search this
Tsuu T'ina (Sarcee)  Search this
Kainai Blackfoot (Kainah/Blood)  Search this
Denésoliné (Chipewyan)  Search this
Cree  Search this
Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo)  Search this
San Ildefonso Pueblo  Search this
Tewa Pueblos  Search this
A:shiwi (Zuni)  Search this
Kewa (Santo Domingo Pueblo)  Search this
K'apovi (Santa Clara Pueblo)  Search this
Laguna Pueblo  Search this
Jemez Pueblo  Search this
Serrano  Search this
Washoe (Washo)  Search this
Kutzadika'a (Mono Paiute)  Search this
Kupangaxwichem (Kupa/Cupeño)  Search this
Piipaash (Maricopa)  Search this
Diné (Navajo)  Search this
Oglala Lakota (Oglala Sioux)  Search this
Quechan (Yuma/Cuchan)  Search this
Hualapai (Walapai)  Search this
Akimel O'odham (Pima)  Search this
Tohono O'odham (Papago)  Search this
Mojave (Mohave)  Search this
Niuam (Comanche)  Search this
Wichita  Search this
Ponca  Search this
Osage  Search this
Yokuts  Search this
Chukchansi Yokuts  Search this
Southern Mewuk (Southern Miwok)  Search this
Wailaki  Search this
Pomo  Search this
Wappo  Search this
Maidu  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photomechanical prints
Printing plates
Photogravures
Photographs
Date:
1899-1927
circa 1980
Summary:
The Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian include photogravure printing plates and associated proofs made from Curtis photographs and used in the publication of The North American Indian volumes 1-9 and 12-19. The bulk of the images are portraits, though there are also images of everyday items, ceremonial artifacts, and camps.
Scope and Contents:
The collection comprises 183 photogravure plates (101 folio and 82 octavo) and 96 associated proofs used in the printing of The North American Indian volumes 1-9 and 12-19. The original photographs used to make the photogravures were made circa 1903-1926 and the photogravure plates were made in 1907-1930. The bulk are portraits, though there are also images of everyday items, ceremonial artifacts, and camps. About half of the proofs in the collection are originals used for Curtis's publication, though the collection also includes proofs made in the process of later publication by the Classic Gravure Company (circa 1980). Vintage proofs include handwritten notes, likely made by Curtis Studio employees in Seattle and Los Angeles. Many of the photogravure plates do not have matching proofs; in particular, there are no proofs for the octavo plates.
Arrangement:
The plates and proofs are arranged by the volume of The North American Indian in which they were published. They are described in this finding aid by the caption and plate number with which they were published.
Biographical / Historical:
Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) was an American photographer best known for his monumental and now-controversial project, the twenty-volume publication The North American Indian. Here he sought to document in words and pictures the "vanishing race" of American Indians.

Born in Wisconsin in 1868, Edward Curtis grew up on his family's farm in Le Sueur County, Minnesota, from 1874 to 1887. In 1887, he and his father Johnson Curtis settled on a plot near what is now Port Orchard, Washington, and the rest of the family joined them the following year. When Johnson Curtis died within a month of the family's arrival, the burden of providing for his mother and siblings fell to 20-year-old Edward, and Edward set out to do so through his photography. In 1891, Curtis moved to the booming city of Seattle and bought into a joint photo studio with Rasmus Rothi. Less than a year later, he formed "Curtis and Guptill, Photographers and Photoengravers" with Thomas Guptill; the enterprise quickly became a premier portrait studio for Seattle's elite. In 1895, Curtis made his first "Indian photograph" depicting Princess Angeline, daughter of the chief for whom Seattle had been named. The following year he earned his first medal from the National Photographic Convention for his "genre studies."

In 1899, Edward Curtis joined the Harriman Alaska Expedition as official photographer, a position which allowed him to learn from anthropologists C. Hart Merriam and George Bird Grinnell while documenting the landscapes and peoples of the Alaskan coast. This expedition and the resulting friendship with Grinnell helped to foster Curtis's ultimate goal to "form a comprehensive and permanent record of all the important tribes of the United States and Alaska that still retain to a considerable degree their primitive customs and traditions" (General Introduction, The North American Indian). Curtis made several trips to reservations from 1900 to 1904, including a trip with Grinnell to Montana in 1900 and multiple trips to the Southwest, including the Hopi Reservation. He also hired Adolph Muhr, former assistant to Omaha photographer Frank A. Rinehart, to manage the Curtis studio in his absence, a decision which would prove more and more fruitful as Curtis spent less and less time in Seattle.

In 1906, Curtis struck a deal with financier J. P. Morgan, whereby Morgan would support a company – The North American Indian, Inc. – with $15,000 for five years, by which time the project was expected to have ended. Systematic fieldwork for the publication began in earnest that summer season, with Curtis accompanied by a team of ethnological researchers and American Indian assistants. Arguably the most important member of Curtis' field team was William Myers, a former newspaperman who collected much of the ethnological data and completed most of the writing for the project. The first volume, covering Navajo and Apache peoples, was published at the end of 1907, but already Morgan's funding was incapable of meeting Curtis's needs. Despite heaping praise from society's elite, Curtis spent much of his time struggling to find people and institutions willing to subscribe to the expensive set of volumes. After the initial five years, only eight of the proposed twenty volumes had been completed. Fieldwork and publication continued with the support of J. P. Morgan, but Curtis's home life suffered because of his prolonged absences.

In 1919, Curtis's wife Clara was awarded a divorce settlement which included the entire Curtis studio in Seattle. Exhausted and bankrupt, Edward Curtis moved with his daughter Beth Magnuson to Los Angeles, where they operated a new Curtis Studio and continued work on the volumes; volume 12 was published in 1922. The constant financial strain forced Myers to leave the North American Indian team after volume 18 (fieldwork in 1926) and Curtis made his last trip to photograph and gather data for volume 20 in 1927. After the final volumes were published in 1930, Curtis almost completely faded from public notice until his work was "rediscovered" and popularized in the 1970s.

Curtis's "salvage ethnology," as scholar Mick Gidley describes it, was mildly controversial even during his life and has become ever more so as his legacy deepens. In his quest to photograph pre-colonial Indian life through a twentieth-century lens, he often manipulated and constructed history as much as he recorded it: he staged reenactments, added props, and removed evidence of twentieth-century influences on "primitive" life. Curtis's work continues to shape popular conceptions of American Indians and so, while problematic, his legacy--his vision of American Indian life--continues to be relevant.
Related Materials:
NMAI also holds Edward Curtis photographs documenting the Harriman Expedition (1899) as well as platinum prints and photogravures of the images published in The North American Indian.

The Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives holds Edward Curtis prints submitted for copyright (Photo Lot 59) as well as many of his original negatives, photographs, and papers.

Steve Kern donated photogravure plates to the Center for Creative Photography and the Seattle Art Museum at the same time that he donated this set to MAI.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Steven and Arlene Kern to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, in 1984.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Indians of North America -- Pictorial works  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photogravures
Photographs
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.080
See more items in:
Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-080
Online Media:

Plate 504: Chukchansi Yokuts type

Collection Photographer:
Curtis, Edward S., 1868-1952  Search this
Extent:
1 Photomechanical print
1 Printing plate
Container:
Box F34
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Photomechanical prints
Printing plates
Date:
1924
Collection Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Collection Rights:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian
Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian / Series 12: Volume 14
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmai-ac-080-ref176

Grace Nicholson photograph collection

Creator:
Nicholson, Grace, -1948  Search this
Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation  Search this
Names:
Maxwell, Thyra  Search this
Extent:
374 Photographic prints
38 Copy negatives
Culture:
Hupa  Search this
Yurok  Search this
Pomo  Search this
Karuk (Karok)  Search this
Tolowa  Search this
Achomawi (Pit River)  Search this
Atsugewi (Hat Creek)  Search this
Hopi Pueblo  Search this
Kumeyaay (Diegueño)  Search this
Mojave (Mohave)  Search this
Paiute  Search this
Wintu  Search this
Maidu  Search this
Chukchansi Yokuts  Search this
Acoma Pueblo  Search this
Taos Pueblo  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographic prints
Copy negatives
Date:
1905-1930
Summary:
This collection contains 374 photographic prints and 38 copy negatives made by Grace Nicholson, a collector and dealer of Native American and Asian arts and crafts in Pasadena, California. The majority of the photographs were made between 1910 and 1930 among various native communities in California, though there are smaller amounts of photographs in Arizona and New Mexico. Communities photographed include—Hupa, Yurok, Pomo, Karuk (Karok), Tolowa, Yokayo Pomo, Achomawi (Pit River), Atsugewi (Hat Creek), Hopi Pueblo, Kumeyaay (Digueno), Mojave (Mohave), Paiute, Taos Pueblo, Wintu, Acoma Pueblo, Maidu, Chukchansi Yokuts, Yokuts.
Scope and Contents:
The Grace Nicholson photograph collection contains 374 black and white photographic prints (38 copy negatives) made by Grace Nicholson between 1905 and 1930 however many of the photographs are undated. The majority of the photographs were shot within various native communities in California, including Hupa, Yurok, Pomo, Karuk (Karok), Tolowa, Yokayo Pomo, Achomawi (Pit River), Atsugewi (Hat Creek), Maidu, Chukchansi Yokuts, Yokuts, Kumeyaay (Digueno), Wintu. There are smaller amounts of photographs from Arizona and New Mexico which include photographs within Hopi Pueblo, Taos Pueblo, Acoma Pueblo, Mojave (Mohave) and Paiute communities.

A large number of these photographs include portraits of Native men and women posed with baskets, either made by themselves or other community members. There are also posed portraits of families in front of their homes and going about their daily activities. Nicholson was often close with the families she photographed and took care to include their names with the images, though there are many photographs where the sitters are still unidentified. Some photographs of certain dances and ceremonies have been restricted due to cultural sensitivity.

The majority of the prints are silver gelatin (DOP) and the copy negatives (acetate) were made by the Museum of the American Indian sometime in the 1960s as part of a large photograph conservation project. There were also a number of photographic prints found within the Grace Nicholson manuscript materials (NMAI.AC.001) that were transferred to the photo archives in the early 2000s.
Prints from Grace Nicholson: P05451-P05497, P05505, P08339-P08368, P08469-P08479, P09400-P09453, P09463-P09464, P09836-P09838. Prints from Thyra Maxwell: P18316-P18317, P18932-P19107, P20830-P20836, P20999-P21075. Prints pulled from the MAI records (NMAI.AC.001): P28169, P28170, P28443-P28445. Copy Negatives: N35814-N35844, N36250, N41439, N41551-N41556.
Arrangement:
Arranged by catalog number.
Biographical / Historical:
Grace Nicholson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 31, 1877. She moved to California following her parents and grandparents death, in 1901 and was soon purchasing Native American baskets and other artifacts in association with Carrol S. Hartman, an old family friend from the East. Traveling north through California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and south and east through Arizona and New Mexico, she collected, not only for herself, but also for such institutions as the Smithsonian, the Field Columbian Museum of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania Department of Archeology and later the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. Nicholson kept extensive diaries and notes on her buying trips through Native American territory, especially of the Karok, Klamath, and Pomo Indians. Her subjects included Native American legends, folklore, vocabulary, tribal festivals, basket making, the art trade, and living conditions. Native American artists with whom Nicholson established long-term business and personal connections included Pomo basket weaver Mary Benson (1878-1930) and her husband William Benson (1862-1937), as well as Elizabeth Hickox (1875-1947) of the Karuk tribe. By August of 1902 she was establishing a shop and studio at 41-143 Raymond Ave., Pasadena and she regularly paid higher prices than competitive buyers, thereby obtaining the finest pieces.

In 1909 Grace Nicholson was awarded a silver medal for her ethnological collection exhibited at the Alaska-Yukon- Pacific Exposition in Seattle. In 1924, Nicholson designed and opened a new building for her collections nicknamed the "Treasure House" where she also handled the work of a number of the outstanding artists among them, Joseph H. Sharp and Grace Carpenter Hudson. Throughout her collecting career, Nicholson maintained a correspondence with George Heye selling and donating collections to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation from 1916 until her death in 1948.

Following Nicholson's death, her Native American Indian art collection was left to her assistants Thyra Maxwell and Estelle Bynum who became the executors of her estate. Her 12,000-item Asian art collection was auctioned by the Curtis Gallery in November 1950 and purchased by Los Angeles businessman Edker Pope. In 1968, Maxwell donated Nicholson's papers and photographs to The Huntington Library and sold Nicholson's collection of baskets made by the Bensons, as well as a large collection of correspondence and myths from William Benson, to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, of New York City (now the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution).
Related Materials:
The majority of Grace Nicholson's papers and photographs can be found at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California; Grace Nicholson Photograph Collection (photCL 56), Grace Nicholson Papers and Addenda (mssNicholson papers and addenda).

Additional Nicholson material can be found at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley; Photographic negatives and prints of Calif. Indian baskets and other ethnographic items handled by Grace Nicholson from about 1912-1925 (Accession 2880), Grace Nicholson's ledger of Indian baskets from about 1912-1925 in Pasadena, California (Accession 2881).
Separated Materials:
Correspondence between Grace Nicholsan and George Heye as well as Pomo myths recorded from William Benson can be found in the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation records (NMAI.AC.001) in Boxes 262, 262A, 263. Baskets made by Mary and William Benson, as well also additional collections donated and sold by Nicholson to the Museum, can be found in NMAI's ethnographic collection.
Provenance:
The majority of the photographic prints were donated by Thyra Maxwell in 1968 and 1969. The rest of the photographs accompanied collections purchased by the Museum of the American Indian or presented to the Museum from Grace Nicholson in 1923.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Thursday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu). Photographs with cultural sensitivity are restricted.
Rights:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.
Topic:
California  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographic prints
Copy negatives
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Grace Nicholson photograph collection, Item Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.001.039
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-001-039

Basket bowl

Culture/People:
Chukchansi Yokuts  Search this
Object Name:
Basket bowl
Media/Materials:
Vegetal Fiber, twine/string, wool cloth
Techniques:
Coiled
Object Type:
Containers and Vessels
Place:
Central California; California; USA (inferred)
Catalog Number:
10/8180
Barcode:
108180.000
See related items:
Chukchansi Yokuts
Containers and Vessels
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ws6ea586a70-17a3-43c6-b8db-b4574f23bb10
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_116749
Online Media:

Basket bowl

Culture/People:
Chukchansi Yokuts  Search this
Object Name:
Basket bowl
Media/Materials:
Vegetal Fiber, sedge
Techniques:
Coiled
Object Type:
Containers and Vessels
Place:
Central California; California; USA (inferred)
Catalog Number:
10/8181
Barcode:
108181.000
See related items:
Chukchansi Yokuts
Containers and Vessels
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ws6c5eda291-9905-455e-9f69-bf301718e185
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_116750
Online Media:

The long-tailed bear : and other Indian legends / by Natalia M. Belting ; illustrated by Louis F. Cary

Author:
Belting, Natalia Maree 1915-1997  Search this
Illustrator:
Cary, Louis F. 1915-  Search this
Physical description:
96 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Type:
Folklore
Juvenile literature
Date:
1961
©1961
Topic:
Animals  Search this
Animals, Legends and stories of  Search this
Animals--Folklore  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1032969

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