This classic Curtis portrait is as unusual as it is striking. Its apparent simplicity and symmetry belie a complex and powerful image. The woman is carrying a stunning food vessel, as would be done for a feast after a ceremonial ritual. The stylized animal figures are typical of Zuni pottery, which in this case is supported on her head by a woven yucca ring. Today the Zuni are world famous for their beautiful pottery, which is collected internationally.
This vintage vellum photogravure is in overall excellent condition. There are two minor handling creases, visible only upon close inspection, not affecting the image itself. This original photogravure is printed on Japanese Vellum. This is an expensive handmade paper specifically selected by Curtis and J.P. Morgan for Curtis’ North American Indian project and noted for its smooth surface and fine resolution. The Vellum stock, produced one hundred years ago, is very resistant to contamination and damage and rarely requires conservation.