Canyon de Chelly – Navaho, 1904
9.75 x 13.25 in. (24.76 x 33.66 cm.)
Signed; Signed in ink at lower right corner, “Curtis” In negative at lower left corner, “Copyright 1904 by E.S. Curtis x1013”
Printed circa 1904
Artist: Edward S. Curtis About This Lot
Title: Canyon de Chelly – Navaho
Negative Date: 1904
Print Date: c.1904
Medium: Platinum photograph
Markings: Signed in ink at lower right.
In negative at lower left, “Copyright 1904 by E.S. Curtis X1013”.
Print Size: 9.75″ x 13.25″(24.8cm x 33.6cm)
The gallery retail for this photograph is: $28,500
Auction Estimate: $20,000 – $25,000
Canyon de Chelly (pronounced “de chay”, after the Navaho “Ta Shé”) to this day is one of the most sacred places for the Navaho peoples. It is located in Northeastern Arizona in the heart of Navaho country. Of Curtis’ 50,000 negatives this is widely considered to be his most important and powerful landscape. 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” was clearly one of Curtis’ favorite and most important images as he printed it in at least four different photographic processes. This print is a very rare example. First, the format is very unusual for Curtis (approximately 10” x 13”-25.4cm x 33cm). Secondly, the print is on a smoother surfaced paper than is typical of Curtis platinums. Third, it has a fineness of resolution and warm hue that are atypical. The print itself is a beautiful, compelling object and it is the only example like this that Christopher Cardozo has seen in his 38 years of collecting.
This vintage photograph is from the personal collection of Christopher Cardozo (“The Christopher G. Cardozo/Edward S. Curtis Collection”)
This vintage platinum print is in excellent condition. Several anomalies and imperfections on print surface, generally visible only upon close inspection, not effecting overall print.
There are original mount remnants at the margins only on the reverse side of the print, not effecting image/recto. Print quality is excellent and the original ink signature remains strong and crisp.
Edward Curtis is the most widely collected fine art photography in the history of the medium, and his work is found in major public and private collections internationally. He has also become the most widely exhibited. His work has moved viewers on every continent but Antarctica. He created an unprecedented body of work, which has won awards and accolades internationally. While the project nearly drove him into bankruptcy and cost him his health and family, today the aggregate value of the photographs he created exceeds one half of a billion dollars. Please see biography link above for further details.
- The North American Indian (Portfolio I Plate 28) Sacred Legacy: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian, P.189 Native Nations, P.30
- Christopher Cardozo (“The Christopher G. Cardozo/Edward S. Curtis Collection”)
- Another print of this image was included in a major groundbreaking, one person Curtis exhibition that toured Paris, Cologne, Switzerland, Italy, and the Netherlands between 2000 and 2004. Another print of this image was included in a major Curtis exhibition that toured Spain, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden between 2001 and 2007. Other prints of this image have been exhibited internationally in one person Curtis exhibitions. These exhibitions have traveled to over forty countries and every continent but Antarctica during the past decade.