This is widely regarded as one of Curtis’ most compelling, evocative, and sought-after portraits. This vintage tissue photogravure brings an added depth and beauty to this early, classic Curtis portrait. Curtis’ portraits of children are relatively rare, a fact which makes this portrait even more desirable. It is printed in the photogravure process on the rare “tissue” printing stock. Tissue photogravures are noted for their luminosity and fine resolution. While beautiful and delicate, tissue photogravures have great strength and durability. Because original purchasers had to pay a premium for the tissue print, it is estimated that only 10-15% of Curtis’ photogravures were made on tissue.
This original vintage photogravure is printed on handmade Japanese gampi (“tissue”) paper. This is the rarest and most expensive of the three original paper stocks chosen by Curtis and J.P. Morgan for Curtis’ North American Indian project. Only Morgan and a few others paid the substantial premium to get the rare tissue edition. Tissue prints are noted for their subtlety, luminosity, and strength. Gampi papermaking is a millennia old tradition in Japan and the art is often handed down within a family from generation to generation over hundreds of years.