A major U.S. foundation, group of private donors, and Christopher Cardozo Fine Art have donated complete sets of an artisanal Republication of The North American Indian by Edward Curtis to 16 tribal colleges. The donation includes several hundred contemporary Curtis photographs and a curated, digital collection of materials originally created by Edward Curtis for his landmark photo-ethnographic publication. With an aggregate value of over $500,000, the donation is being made in recognition of the 10,000 Native Americans who collaborated in the creation of the original publication, and to support current efforts by Native people to reconnect with their history, culture, and traditions.
Tribal College Recipients
Cankdeska Cikana Community College (Little Hoop)
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Leech Lake Tribal College
Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College
Oglala Lakota College
Sinte Gleska University
Sisseton Wahpeton College
Sitting Bull College
Turtle Mountain Community College
United Tribes Technical College
White Earth Tribal and Community College
The North American Indian by Edward Curtis was the most ambitious and expensive ethno-photographic project ever undertaken. Championed by Theodore Roosevelt, and with early patronage from J.P. Morgan, Curtis traveled the continent from 1905–1930, creating 40–50,000 negatives, over 1,000 wax cylinder recordings, and filming the earliest footage of North American Indians. The 2,500,000 words of text provide rare and valuable historic and cultural information.
Christopher Cardozo Fine Art has painstakingly created an artisanal edition of Curtis’ The North American Indian over a four year period. Hand-bound in leather, and printed to the highest archival and artisan bookmaking standards, the recreation includes all twenty original volumes, over 5,000 pages, and extensive transcripts of Native language and music. The twenty portfolios that accompanied the original set are recreated in five oversized portfolio volumes. Each set comprises all 2,234 photographs contained in the original.
“Introducing the ethno-photographic legacy of Edward Curtis, the inspiring beauty, heart, spirit, and extraordinary lifeways of historic Native people to contemporary audiences is my great passion,” says Christopher Cardozo. “These donations provide an opportunity for us to identify more Native Americans whose ancestors collaborated with Edward Curtis on the original North American Indian project.” As part of an ongoing repatriation effort, Christopher Cardozo Fine Art is donating contemporary Curtis photographs to these descendants.