The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. research facility.
Sylvester Rosa Koehler papers, 1833-1904, bulk 1870-1890. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Photogravures made from Edward S. Curtis portraits of American Horse, Oglala; Hollow Horn Bear, Brule; and an Assiniboine/Gros Ventre man. Curtis copyrighted the original photographs in 1907 and 1908.
Biographical / Historical:
Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) was a professional photographer known for his images of Native Americans and of the American West. Born in Wisconsin, Curtis moved with his family to Cordova, Minnesota, shortly after his brother's birth in 1874. In 1887, Curtis moved again with his father to Seattle in the Washington Territory, where he built partnerships with several area photographers. Around 1895 Curtis began to photograph American Indians in the Seattle area. He joined the 1899 Harriman Expedition to Alaska as the expedition's official photographer and spent the summer of 1900 with George Bird Grinnell on a trip to document the Sun Dance on the Piegan Reservation in Montana. These experiences fueled Curtis' interest in American Indians and their culture and he set out to document every North American tribe before they "vanished." These photographs became the basis for his twenty volume "The North American Indian," a set of books which combined ethnographic descriptions and high-quality photogravures.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 84-8
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Additional Curtis photographs held in National Anthropological Archives in the Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs, Photo Lot 24, Photo Lot 59, Photo Lot 90-1, Photo Lot 96-17, and the BAE historical negatives.
The National Anthropological Archives also holds the Edward S. Curtis investigation of the Battle of Little Bighorn (MS 2000-18).
Curtis photographs also held in the National Museum of the American Indian Archives in the Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian and Mary Harriman Rumsey collection of Harriman Alaska Expedition photographs.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 84-8, John Andrew & Son photogravures of Edward S. Curtis portraits of Native Americans, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution