CHRISTOPHER CARDOZO FINE ART

Our reputation is built on our knowledge, integrity & values

LIMITED-EDITION GOLDTONES

Our Goldtones™ are printed on optical glass, coated with a rich, unique, and custom formulated emulsion. The optical glass plates are processed by hand and then toned twice for superb archival permanence and a warm sepia tonality. Each Goldtone™ is then backed with multiple microfine layers of brilliant golden metallic particles and finally treated with an inert archival sealant. Goldtones™ have a luminosity and three-dimensionality that is unequaled by any other photographic medium. The goldtone, or “Orotone”, process was pioneered by Edward S. Curtis over 100 years ago and was his preferred way of producing his photographic images. The complexity and expense of producing goldtones meant that Curtis printed only about 1 in 1,000 of his negatives as goldtones. Each of our contemporary, limited edition Goldtones™ and frames are the result of over sixty separate, distinct steps. The “Classic” frame, which is a beautifully handcrafted recreation of Curtis’ vintage frames, is custom-made of wood and various traditional materials.

Note: Due to the unavailability of critical, propriety materials, we anticipate only being able to complete, on average, 15% – 20% of projected editions of the Goldtones. (Please note, with a small number of the most popular and iconic images we hope to complete 40% – 100% of the projected edition.)

  • Produced using the original glass plate negative, and Curtis’ preferred print process
  • Luminosity and three-dimensionality, unequaled by any other photographic medium
  • Limited edition with a certificate of authenticity
  • Available in two sizes
  • Ready to hang

PORTRAITS

Medicine Crow, 1908

Medicine Crow is a classic Northern Plains male portrait. Medicine Crow was an Apsaroke warrior from Montana. Curtis was particularly fond of the Apsaroke people as their culture was still largely intact and they were fierce warriors and a proud people. The hawk fastened to Medicine Crow’s head is illustrative of the manner of wearing the symbol of one’s tutelary spirit. The Apsaroke believed that all success in life was attributed to one’s spirit guardian and that it inhabited only the soul of a worthy person.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500
18″ x 22″ – $6,500

  Son of The Desert, 1904

This is widely regarded as one of Curtis’ most evocative and compelling portraits.  The Goldtone™ process brings added depth and richness to this beautiful portrait of a young Navaho boy. Vintage goldtones of this image are very scarce and would be valued between $50,000 and $100,000 if they could be found in these larger sizes.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500
18″ x 22″ – $6,500

 

A Chief Of The Desert, 1904 

This iconic Curtis portrait not only shows us this noble individual, but also the characteristic qualities of his tribe: pride, vitality, and self-reliance. This enduring image was a Curtis favorite, which he printed in a variety of photographic processes. This image has been widely reproduced and exhibited and another platinum print of “A Chief of the Desert” was one of only two Curtis photographs in a major exhibition originated by the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was seen by over one-third of a million museum-goers.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500
18″ x 22″ – $6,500

 

Chief Joseph, 1903

  • Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce is still widely considered to be one of the most important and noble tribal leaders of the 19th century. He became close friends with Edward Curtis and this friendship was critical in Curtis’ later success in gaining the trust of numerous other tribes.  Joseph’s pride and nobility and the tragedies that he and his people suffered are all evident on his face.  After eluding the U.S. Calvary for nearly two years he was finally subdued and there upon uttered his famous words, “I will fight no more forever…”  This image is extremely rare as a vintage goldtone and an 11 x 14” example sold in 2001 for over $60,000.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500
18″ x 22″ – $7,500

 

Vash Gon, 1904

  • Vash Gon – Jicarilla, 1904 / c.1904
    This has been one of Curtis’ most sought-after and celebrated portraits for over one hundred years. Curtis often incorporated aesthetics from the Pictorialist movement into his photographs and this portrait is a prime example. The narrowed format, the softened focus, strong and dramatic lighting, and simplified composition all enhance this classic and iconic image. This was obviously one of Curtis’ favorite images as he exhibited it widely, used it to illustrate articles, and printed it in at least four different photographic processes. Today it remains a highly desirable image, particularly in the goldtone medium..

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

 

Girl & Jar – Sunflower, 1905

  • This young girl, also known as Sunflower and Povi-Tamu is from the San Ildefonso pueblo in Northern New Mexico. She was one of Curtis’ favorite subjects and appears in an unprecedented four different photographs in Curtis’ magnum opus The North American Indian. Pueblo woman were very adept at balancing objects on their heads, and a vessel, such as this pot, usually rested on a fiber ring that served to both steady the pot and to protect the scalp. The design on the pot pictured here recalls the importance of the serpent cult in Tewa life. This image was not originally offered as a goldtone and was available only as a photogravure and a handful of examples in platinum. Because of its compelling beauty and added warmth and richness as a goldtone, Curtis Centennial Edition chose to create this image in the Goldtone process
    14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
    18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

LANDSCAPES WITH FIGURES

Crater Lake, 1923 

The chief, pictured here in full regalia, is a member of the Klamath tribe of Southeast Oregon.  The Klamath territory is dotted with lakes and marshes which accounts for many aspects of Klamath daily life.  In this photograph, the chief is overlooking Crater Lake, which is one of the deepest, purest bodies of water in North America.  The lake occupies the crater formed by an extinct volcano and is spectacular not only in its beauty but also, with thirty-two miles of lakeshore, in size.  This is a stunningly beautiful Goldtone with an extraordinary sense of depth, luminosity, and three-dimensionality.

life.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $7,500 

 

The Vanishing Race, 1904 

  • The Vanishing Race was Curtis’ signature piece and was the visual metaphor for the core concept underlying Curtis’ entire thirty-year project i.e., that Native Americans, as a culture, at least, were vanishing and that it was Curtis’ over-arching goal to capture a record of them and their world before they disappeared forever.
    14″ x 17″ – $3,500  $2,100
    18 x 22″ – Sold Out

 

Before the Storm, 1906

This beautiful vintage Curtis print was created circa 1906. The scene is in the high mountains of Apache-land in present-day Arizona. Dramatic clouds fill the sky before a storm breaks.  The individual riders are from the White Mountain Apache tribe who were believed to number approximately 2,000 tribal members living in this area.  This classic Curtis photograph of four riders in the desert Southwest, features dramatic lighting, back-lit subjects, and narrow depth of field, which were all aspects of Curtis’ Pictorial aesthetic. The riders are returning to camp to escape the impending storm.  Storms were a vital aspect of desert ecosystems.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500
18″ x 22″ – $6,500

Canyon de Chelly – Navaho, 1904

Canyon de Chelly (pronounced “chay”, after the Navaho “Ta Sh_”) was one of the most sacred places for the Navaho and remains so to this day.  It is located in Northeastern Arizona in the heart of Navaho country.  Of Curtis’ 50,000 negatives this is considered to be one of his ten most important and powerful.  The insignificance of man relative to nature is clearly illustrated through the sheer size (approximately 1,000 feet high) of enduring cliff formations that surround the riders.  Canyon de Chelly is regarded as Curtis’ single most popular goldtone today and the contemporary Goldtone captures the subtleties and richness of the original negative in a way that was impossible a hundred years ago.

 14″ x 17″ – $3,500
18″ x 22″ – $7,500

 

At The Old Well, 1904

This originally was one of Curtis’ most popular images and one of his most broadly collected both as a goldtone and as a platinum print. The beautiful subject matter and the lyrical qualities of the water and the composition have made this a very enduring image, and it remains nearly as popular now as it was one hundred years ago.  This image was made near the pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico in 1904.  Acoma remains a vibrant pueblo to this day with many active artisans still making traditional style pots.

  • 14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
    18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

A Painted Tipi, 1928

This beautiful portrait of a Native mother and her son was created in the rolling hills and mountains of the Northern Plains. The son sits proudly on his horse while his mother admiringly observes him. She stands next to a large and beautifully painted tipi, which typically served as the center of family life among Northern Plains Indians. This image has never before been available in the Goldtone™ process.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

 

The Rush Gatherer – Kutenai, 1910

This is one of Curtis’ most beautiful and compelling goldtones.  The unusually large light-toned areas of the image help create a goldtone of unrivaled brilliance.  There is no other Curtis image that more fully takes advantage of the beauty of the goldtone process.  This photograph was taken on Flathead Lake in Northern Montana and the Native American pictured is from the Kutenai tribe.  The Kutenai were semi-nomadic and occupied portions of southeastern British Columbia, northern Idaho, and northwestern Montana, moving seasonally to follow food sources.  The Kutenai usually crafted their canoes of pine bark, but as illustrated here, occasionally made canoes of fresh elk hides stretched over a framework of fir strips.  Rushes gathered in swamps and lakes were dried and strung together into mats, lodge coverings, mattresses, and other utilitarian items.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $7,500 

Taos Water Girls, 1905

This remains one of Curtis’ most beautiful and idyllic photographs.  The young women, from the Taos Pueblo, are carrying water back to their pueblo, walking along-side huge cottonwood trees. The brilliant sky contrasts with the deep, rich foreground making this Goldtone™ unusually compelling and three-dimensional. Vintage goldtones of this image are extremely scarce and would sell for $50,000 – $80,000 in the sizes offered here.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

The Three Chiefs, 1900

The Three Chiefs is undoubtedly the single most important of Curtis’ 50,000 photographic images. The photograph was made in the summer of 1900 and is the key image from that critical, watershed experience in Curtis’ life. It was during this short field trip to Montana with noted ethnographer George Bird Grinnell that Curtis first encountered Native Americans whose culture was still largely intact and who were also willing to share their religion, mythology, and personal lives with him. This brief experience ignited Curtis’ passion to preserve a comprehensive record of Native American life. This two-week experience inalterably changed Curtis and his life was never the same again. It is said that in making this image of three tribal leaders in their traditional garb on a typical upland prairie that Curtis spent three days looking for the perfect combination of riders, sky, and prairie.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $7,500

An Oasis in the Badlands, 1905

This classic Curtis image was made in the heart of the Bad Lands of South Dakota. The subject is Red Hawk who was born 1854 and was a fierce warrior who ultimately engaged in 20 battles, including the Custer fight in 1876. This lyrical image is widely considered to be Curtis’ most important and beautiful Great Plains peopled landscape. Curtis loved the visual and metaphorical qualities of water, and the goldtone, more than any other photographic medium, conveys the beauty of water as an aesthetic element. The compelling composition and subject matter have helped keep this, one of Curtis’ most sought after images compelling nearly one hundred years after it was made.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $7,500

Hopi Snake Priest, 1907

Hopi Snake Priest, 1907

A young Hopi dressed for the Snake Dance, a dramatized prayer for rain that is conducted during the dry summer months.

The Hopi (or Hopitu, meaning peaceable people) inhabit a large arid region in Northeastern Arizona.  The snake dance is the best known of all the Hopi ceremonies and lasts 16 days.  It is a dramatized prayer for rain and is performed in late summer.  Snake Priests are traditionally servants of a snake chief.  Among their various duties, the snake priests collected snakes for the ceremony and also danced in the ceremony while holding rattlesnakes in their hands, around their necks, or even between their lips.  Curtis was the first white person inducted into the snake priesthood, which was not only a great honor but also a testament to the deep trust and acceptance accorded him by many tribes.  Curtis visited the Hopi numerous times over a twenty-five year period.  His photographs and text relating to the Hopi Snake Dance are an anthropological tour de force.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

Flathead Camp on the Jocko River, 1910

The scene depicts a camp among the tall pines in western Montana, with the majestic Rocky Mountains rising abruptly in the background.  The Flatheads were a small tribe occupying a mountainous area of the cultural-geographic region commonly known as The Plateau.  This intimate camp scene with the massive pines, picturesque mountains, and luminous sky exemplifies Curtis’ fine and evocative landscape work.  The image is extremely rare as a vintage goldtone and this contemporary Goldtone brings out the full beauty of the scene.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

The Potter, 1906

Native women were prolific artists, as this iconic Curtis photograph exemplifies. The subject, Nampeyo, a Hopi potter, was a master of her craft and today she is the most famous of all Native potters. Vintage goldtones of this image are extremely rare and do not exist in these large sizes offered here, and if they were, would be valued in the $50,000 – $100,000 range.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

A Mountain Fastness, 1905

The Apsaroke lived among the mountains of Montana, and nowhere did they seem more at home than on the streams and in the canyons of their forested ranges.  The Apsaroke, members of the Crow Nation, were highly nomadic and were on the move for a large part of the year in search of food.  Their customary camps were along mountain streams.  This image has never before been available as a goldtone.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500
18″ x 22″ – $6,500

The Oath, 1908

This is an important and famous Curtis ceremonial image which Curtis himself greatly favored. It is also one of Curtis’ most sought-after goldtones. The Apsaroke warrior takes an oath of truth and honor while the other two warriors act as witnesses. Vintage goldtones of this image are scarce and do not exist in the larger sizes offered here.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

The Apache, 1906

Curtis noted that this image might as well be titled “Life Primeval” for he believed that this is how the Apache might have pictured themselves in the time before significant European incursions.  It was made at a point on the Black River in Arizona, where a dark, still pool breaks into the beauty of small rapids.  While Curtis did not originally produce this image as a goldtone, Curtis Centennial Editions chose to do so not only because of its beauty but also because it so fully exploits the brilliance and luminosity found only in the Goldtone process.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

Spearing Salmon, 1923

This photograph was made in Northern California near the Trinity River.  The subject is a member of the Hupa tribe, one of numerous tribal groups inhabiting the mountains and the Pacific Coast region of Northern California.  Salmon was a staple of many tribal groups and other tribes often visited the region during salmon season to trade arrows and herbs, and to fish.  The lush vegetation and moving water combine to make this a very beautiful and evocative image.  This image has never before been available as a goldtone.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

Wishham Fisherman, 1909

Wishham are a tribal group that inhabited areas of the Washington and Oregon interiors and this particular photograph was made in the majestic Columbia River Gorge. It illustrates a Native American fishing in the traditional manner, which had been employed for centuries.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

Depositing a Prayer Stick, 1922

Round, painted sticks with feathers attached by cotton cords are deposited in various places, particularly in springs and at shrines, in supplication to the spirits associated with the locality

 

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

Homeward, 1898

This was one of Curtis’ earliest Native American photographs and also one of his earliest award-winning images.  Thus, this photograph, taken in Puget Sound, is historically one of Curtis’ most important and played a key role in the evolution of his career.  This canoe was made from a single dugout tree trunk.  Canoes were extremely important to many Native American tribes and particularly so in the Pacific Northwest, where survival was often dependent on food gathered in the sea from canoes.  The dramatic qualities of the clouds and sky are vividly brought out by the goldtone process.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

A Feast Day At Acoma, 1904

  • Photographed in 1904
  • Produced using the original glass plate negative, and Curtis’ preferred print process
  • Luminosity and three-dimensionality, unequaled by any other photographic medium
  • Limited edition with a certificate of authenticity
  • Available in two sizes
  • Select from two frame options
  • Ready to hang

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

Shores of Walker Lake- Paviotso, 1926

  • Produced using the original glass plate negative, and Curtis’ preferred print process
  • Luminosity and three-dimensionality, unequaled by any other photographic medium
  • Limited edition with a certificate of authenticity
  • Available in two sizes
  • Select from two frame options
  • Ready to hang

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

The Medicine Man – Slow Bull, 1907

This beautiful, Goldtone is one of the greatest and most revered tribal leaders of the Northern Plains; Slow Bull.  Slow Bull was born in 1844, joined his first war-party at fourteen, with Chief Red Cloud, against the Apsaroke. Engaged in fifty-five battles with Apsaroke, Shoshoni, Ute, Blackfeet, Pawnee and Kutenai. Struck seven first coups. At seventeen he captured one hundred and seventy horses from Apsaroke. In the same year he received medicine from buffalo while he slept on a hilltop, not fasting, but resting from travel on the warpath. Counted two honors in one fight, when the Lakota charged an Apsaroke camp and were routed.

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000 

A Heavy Load – Sioux, 1908

“A Heavy Load” is an evocative portrait of typical daily life among Native women. Demanding physical labor, such as this, was often done by women, especially among the hunting tribes of the Great Plains. This image has never before been available in the Goldtone™ process. Fewer than 1% of Curtis’ photographs are of winter scenes.

  • Ready to hang

14″ x 17″ – $3,500 
18″ x 22″ – $6,000