Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian Project in the Field
"In Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian Project in the Field, Mick Gidley provides an intimate and informative glimpse of Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) and his associates as they undertook their work in the early decades of the twentieth century. A photographer, Curtis embarked on an epic quest to document through word and picture the traditional cultures of Native Americans in the western United States - cultures that he believed were inevitably doomed. Curtis's project became the largest anthropological enterprise undertaken in this country and yielded the monumental work The North American Indian (1907-30). Its publication was a watershed in the anthropological study of Native Americans and inspired the first full-length documentary film, popular magazine articles, books for young readers, lectures, and photography exhibitions. Housing a wealth of ethnographic information yet steeped in nostalgia and predicated upon the assumption that Native Americans were a "vanishing race," Curtis's work has been both influential and controversial, and its vision of Native Americans must still be reckoned with today."--Jacket.