From 1907 to 1930, Edward S. Curtis created The North American Indian, a forty-volume edition of photographs and writings that he hoped would cover “every phase of Indian life of all tribes yet in a primitive condition.” All evidence indicates that he set out to make a singular and uniﬁed work of art. However, a comparative analysis of photographs made at diﬀerent moments in this ambitious project reveals that The North American Indian ultimately is characterized not by stylistic and thematic unity but by signiﬁcant shifts in aesthetic and political orientation. [excerpt]
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Egan, Shannon. 'Yet in a Primitive Condition': Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian. American Art. 2006. 20(3): 58-83.
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