Edward S. Curtis and The North American Indian

Event detail

The Book Arts & Special Collections Center presents an exhibition of Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian in celebration of the sesquicentennial of Curtis's birth in 1868.

The North American Indian series is composed of 20 volumes and 20 portfolios published between 1907-1930. Curtis and his team made more than 40,000 images, recorded 10,000 songs, wrote down vocabularies and pronunciation guides for 75 languages, and transcribed myths, rituals, social culture, and legends from oral histories. The work includes 2,226 photogravure plates: 1500 images bound in volumes, with the remaining loose in portfolios.

The San Francisco Public Library is proud to display these extraordinary photographs from our collection. Due to the delicate nature of the photographic prints, the pages in the portfolios on display will be changed each week so as not to expose the prints to too much excess light for preservation purposes. See also the related program Contemplating Curtis.

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