Famous Photographers

Edward Curtis

  • Edward Curtis 1868-1952
  • Born February 16, 1868 in Whitewater, Wisconsin
  • Lived in Seattle, Washington during his marriage. Upon getting divorced, he moved to California.
  • Dropped out of an unknown school in the sixth grade.
  • He didn’t get far enough in his education to have focused on one study.
  • He built his own camera at a very young age. It was at some point after dropping out of school.
  • Famous for taking pictures of Native Americans and their tribes.
  • His equipment consisted of really old style camera that used film and glass negatives.
  • He wrote many books about the Native American history he learned through  research and the people themselves.
  • He took over 40,000 photographic images from over 80 tribes.
  • He recorded tribal lore and history, and he described traditional foods, housing garments, recreation, ceremonies, and funeral customs.
  • He wrote biographical sketches of tribal leaders, and his material, in most cases, is the only recorded history.
  • Curtis’ goal was not just to photograph, but to document, as much American Indian (Native American) traditional life as possible before that way of life disappeared.

His Work


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