Chief John Spotted Tail: "Legacy Returned" and The Tale of Two Families
Curtis Legacy Foundation
by Tamara Stands and Looks Back - Spotted Tail
2M ago
Dear Friends of Curtis Legacy Foundation, We are thrilled to share an event showing our ongoing efforts to bring Indigenous culture to the forefront. In August of 2022, founders John and Coleen Graybill had the distinct honor of photographing Chief John Spotted Tail holding his great-great-grandfather Chief Spotted Tail's, sacred headdress. This headdress along with other personal Chief Spotted Tail items, were originally gifted to Major Cisero Newell from Chief Spotted Tail over 140 years ago and have now returned to a Spotted Tail descendant.   In these captivating images, Chief John Sp ..read more
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New Book about The North American Indian is Filled with Data and Facts
Curtis Legacy Foundation
by Tim Greyhavens
6M ago
Since the rediscovery of Edward Curtis's work in the 1970s, scholars, collectors, and others have published at least 65 English-language books about the man and his work. This number doesn't include books in other languages, dissertations, and dozens of articles in photographic, historical, and cultural journals. There's no exact count, but a conservative estimate is that at least two million words have been published about Curtis and his photography. With so much already written, is there anything new about Curtis that hasn't already been said? In his new book, Dutch scholar Herman Cohen Stu ..read more
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South Dakota Sun Dance & Red Hawk Descendant
Curtis Legacy Foundation
by Coleen Graybill
7M ago
You plan. You schedule. Then you go with the flow. We try very hard to be incredibly productive when we are on our road trips, so I usually have things well planned out. When you are in Indian Country though, things have a way of just happening how they are supposed to according to the spirits, not necessarily how you have them planned. We were invited over a year ago by Medicine Man Henry Quick Bear, Chief John Spotted Tail, and Tamara Stands and Looks Back-Spotted Tail, to attend Henry’s Sun Dance on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in Rosebud, South Dakota. Henry Quick Bear is the Medic ..read more
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Curtis Colleagues: Alexander Upshaw
Curtis Legacy Foundation
by Tim Greyhavens
1y ago
Alexander Upshaw was a survivor in every sense of the word. He grew up on the Crow Reservation in Montana, left his home as a teenager to attend the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, returned home and became a spokesperson for his people, worked in the field with Edward Curtis for three years, and ultimately shook hands with President Roosevelt. His story is full of contrasts and conflicts, and while he had many successes, his life was tragically short. Upshaw was born in 1874 to Crazy Pend D’Oreille and his wife, Good Hair. Contrary to what non-Natives might think, his fathe ..read more
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Curtis Colleagues: William E. Myers
Curtis Legacy Foundation
by Tim Greyhavens
1y ago
This is the first in a series of posts about people who were directly or indirectly a part of The North American Indian project. During the three decades that Curtis strived to complete the work, he relied on, received funding from, or was influenced by dozens of people from all walks of life. You’ll find their stories here in the coming months with the tagline of “Curtis Colleagues.” Please sign up for our mailing list to be notified as new stories are posted. L to R, back: guide Alexander Upshaw; William E. Myers; Edmond Meany; Jack Red Cloud (son of Red Cloud). Front: ,Red Cloud (1822-1909 ..read more
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A Writer's Tale: Creating Stories for the Descendant's Project
Curtis Legacy Foundation
by Shawn Pohlman PhD, RN
2y ago
When John Graybill called and invited me to join the Curtis Legacy Foundation board and become the writer for the Descendant’s Project, truthfully, my heart skipped a beat. The timing was good as I had just retired from my nursing professor role, and I had the skills to interpret interviews and write stories as a result of my doctoral education. During my training, I developed qualitative research expertise, which means I learned how to study people in ways that captured the rich context of their lives. For my dissertation, I studied fathers of critically ill premature infants—a topic I became ..read more
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Three Take-Aways from the Recent Curtis Mega-Auctions
Curtis Legacy Foundation
by Tim Greyhavens
2y ago
Note: The Curtis Legacy Foundation does not benefit in any way from the sales of Edward Curtis prints, books, or other works owned by private collectors. All his published works are out of copyright, and we do not receive royalties or other payments for the use of his images. We are reporting on these auctions as part of our educational and research programs. In late June, two massive collections of Edward Curtis prints, books, documents, and ephemera were offered at separate auctions. Together, they represented the most extraordinary grouping of Curtis works that has ever been offered for sal ..read more
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Reprint Editions and Other Important Reproductions of The North American Indian
Curtis Legacy Foundation
by Janet Steins
2y ago
Some thirty years after the final volume of Edward Curtis's The North American Indian appeared, knowledge of and interest in Edward Curtis’s monumental opus began to blossom. In 1962 Ralph W. Andrews's book Curtis' Western Indians, with reproductions of Curtis photographs, was published in Seattle (1). Then in 1970 Publisher's Weekly announced a major publishing event, the first full reprint edition of The North American Indian. Soon thereafter the Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibited a selection of Curtis's photographs (2), an exhibition that might just possibly have been the first time the p ..read more
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A Brief History of Curtis Orotones, Part 2
Curtis Legacy Foundation
by Tim Greyhavens
2y ago
This is the second in a two-part series about the Curtis orotones. For part 1, click here. The orotones of Edward S. Curtis are eye-catching from every angle. In addition to the images' lustrous gold tones, these prints stand out in part because of their beautiful frames. Because of the coated glass plate's fragile surface, every orotone was sold in a handmade frame that was "exclusively designed and toned to harmonize" with Curtis's warm pictorialist photographic style (the quote is from a Curtis studio brochure). It appears that the earliest frames were created by the Schneider Art Gallerie ..read more
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A Brief History of the Curtis Orotones, Part 1
Curtis Legacy Foundation
by Tim Greyhavens
2y ago
“We all know how beautiful the stones and pebbles in the limpid brook of the forest where the water absorbs the blue of the sky and the green of the foliage. Yet when we take the same iridescent pebbles from the water and dry them they are dull and lifeless. So it is with the orthodox photographic print, but in the orotones all that translucency is retained, and they are as full of life and sparkle as an opal.” Edward Curtis, quoted in the Los Angeles Times, February 2, 1919 Of all of Edward Curtis’s prints, his orotones or, as he marketed them, "Curt-Tones," are among the most prized. Also k ..read more
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