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    EDWARD SHERIFF CURTIS (American, 1868-1952)
    The North American Indian, Volume 1: The Apache. The Jicarillas. and The Navaho., 1903-1907
    Book: 12-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches (31.8 x 24.1 cm) each
    Portfolio: 22 x 18 inches (55.9 x 45.7 cm) each

    This lot is an incomplete, unbound, and uncovered book with portfolio. It contains fifty of eighty book images in pristine condition with corresponding text and eighteen of thirty-nine portfolio images with corresponding text.

    Apache Girl

    12-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches (31.8 x 24.1 cm)
    Titled lower left: Apache Girl
    Detail from book

    The Blanket Maker (Navaho)

    12-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches (31.8 x 24.1 cm)
    Titled lower left: The Blanket Maker (Navaho)
    Detail from book

    Book includes text and the following images:
    White River (Apache)
    By the Sycamore (Apache)
    The fire Drill (Apache) A Noonday Halt (Navaho)
    Apache Camp
    Tenokai (Apache)
    At the Ford (Apache)
    The Bathing Pool (Apache)
    Mescall Hills (Apache)
    Primitive Apache home
    Cutting Mescal (Apache)
    Mescal (Apache)
    Filling the Pit (Apache)
    The Covered Pit (Apache)
    Among the Oaks (Apache)
    Mescal Camp (Apache)
    Explanation of Plate (Sacred Buckskin)
    The Ford (Apache)
    Maternity Belt (Apache)
    Medicine Cap and Fetich (Apache)
    Das Lan (Apache)
    Apache Village
    Sand mosaic (Apache)
    Apache Maiden
    Lone Tree Lodge (Jicarilla)
    A Jicarilla Feast March
    Jeditoh (Navaho)
    Lake Lajara (Navaho)
    Into the Desert (Navaho)
    Nature's Mirror (Navaho)
    A Drink in the Desert (Navaho)
    Hastin Yazhe (Navaho)
    Navaho Hogan
    Navaho Still Life
    Navaho Medicine-Man
    Through the Cañon (Navaho)
    Zahadolzha (Navaho)
    Yebichai Sweat (Navaho)
    Yebichai Hogan (Navaho)
    Yebichai Dancers (Navaho)
    Mescal Harvest (Apache)
    White River Valley (Apache)
    Nalin Lage (Apache)
    Infant Burial (Apache)
    Gaaskidi (Navaho)
    Haschelti, Haschebaad, Zahadolzha (Navaho)
    Navaho Woman

    Portfolio includes text and the following images:
    Sunset in Navaho-land
    Lost Trail - Apache
    Hilltop Camp - Jicarilla
    Chidéh - Apache
    Vash Gon - Apache
    Jicarilla Matron
    Alhkidokihi - Navaho
    Story-Telling - Apache
    Apache Reaper
    Jicarilla Women
    Navaho Flocks
    Sigesh - Apache
    Morning Bath - Apache
    Desert Rovers - Apache
    Women of the Desert - Navaho
    At the Shrine - Navaho
    Alchise - Apache

    The North American Indian
    by Edward Sheriff Curtis was a vast project that spanned over twenty years and was never completed. It was published between 1907 and 1930 in limited editions and available by subscription only. It was very expensive, around $3,000 in 1907, and difficult to acquire. Due to its cost and the Nation's economic troubles of that time, the project was met with mixed reviews by the public and Curtis's colleagues. Curtis's intent was to document the customs of the North American Indians. With that mission in mind, and funding from J.P. Morgan in 1906, Curtis set out to record this fast vanishing culture. Whether intentional or not, The North American Indian upheld to the Euro-American idea of the "otherness" of indigenous North American Indians. Regardless of this argument, it is still to this day the most significant depiction of the traditional North American Indian culture ever recorded and still influences the images of them today.

    The one characteristic of the project that set it apart from other Indian Culture photographers' work during this time was its size and scope. By the end of the project, Curtis had taken 40,000 photographic images from over eighty tribes resulting in a project that consisted of twenty volumes 12 x 9 inches (30.5 x 22.7 cm) containing approximately seventy-five photogravures with each image measuring about 5-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches (13.9 x 19.1 cm); and the accompanying twenty portfolios with approximately thirty-five individual photogravures in each folio. In total, there were 1,511 plates in the beautifully bound volumes and 723 plates in the portfolios, for a total of 2,234 plates. In addition to photography, he made a film, wrote about tribal history, and described traditional food, garments, ceremonies, and funeral customs. Curtis also made over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of native Indian music and language. The resulting work is the only recorded history of such a vast and diverse race.

    Despite the vastness and importance of such a volume of work, Curtis went bankrupt long before its completion. The profits for the project were liquidated in 1935, and the remaining material sold to a rare book dealer in Boston where it was forgotten until its re-discovery in the 1970s. Today, these photogravure prints are the most regularly traded photographic prints in the photography art market. The examples in our sale are outstanding, and Heritage is pleased to offer such great examples of Edward Sheriff Curtis's lost works to the modern art market.

    More information about EDWARD SHERIFF CURTIS, also known as Curtis, Edward Sheriff, Curtis, Edward, Curtis, Edward S., Edward S. Curtis, Edward Sheriff Curtis.

    Condition Report*: Incomplete, but in pristine condition.
    *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. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    24th-25th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,492

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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