Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2006

Department 1


Department 2

Interdisciplinary Studies


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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