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    Description

    EDWARD SHERIFF CURTIS (American, 1868-1952)
    Signal Fire to the Mountain Gods, 1912
    Orotone
    14 x 10-3/4 inches (35.6 x 27.3 cm)
    Signed in the plate
    Edward Curtis Studio label verso

    PROVENANCE:
    Private collection, Austin, Texas.

    NOTE:
    This lot maintains the original Curtis frame.

    Edward Curtis is best known for his extensive time documenting The North American Indian. Sometimes criticized for staging images, he strived to capture traditional practices and rituals of the American Indians rather than provide exact documentation of day to day routines. Heavily influenced by the Pictorialist movement, his prints are characteristically tonalist in style. Curtis amplified and mastered the image quality in his photogravures and orotones, going so far as to name the orotone process after himself, coining his prints 'Curt-Tones.' The four orotones offered here are still preserved in their original batwing frames.

    In The Old Well of Acoma, 1904, the gentle nature of the scene echoes images of his contemporaries in photography like many of the pieces published in Camera Works such as, Annie Brigman's, The Bubble, also showing a soft intimate scene of a woman gathering water. He was able to maintain these characteristics while still capturing some of the important historical aspects of the Acoma. The women gathering water highlights the once plentiful water supply at the Pueblo along with displaying the incredibly intricate geometric designs in the Acoma pottery sitting between them. Signal Fire to the Mountain Gods, from 1912, the same attention to tonality while representing the conceived relationship of the American Indian and their respect for the grandeur of the land. The Vanishing Race - Navaho, 1904, represents Curtis's sensitivity for composition, timing, and a romantically soft focus with warm tonal effect. The figures on horseback appear to drudgingly recede toward the horizon in single file, vanishing from the space of the photographic image just as their way of life was vanishing.


    Condition Report*: Very good condition.  Framed Dimensions 18.5 X 15.5 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2012
    10th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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