It’s such a big dream, I can’t see it all.– Edward Sheriff Curtis
“We had no churches, no religious organizations, no sabbath day, no holidays, and yet we worshipped. Sometimes the whole tribe would assemble and sing and pray; sometimes a smaller number, perhaps only two or three. The songs had only a few words, but were not formal. The singer would occasionally put such words as he wished instead of the usual tone sound. Sometimes we prayed in silence; sometimes each prayed aloud; sometimes an aged person prayed for all of us. At other times one would rise and speak to us of our duties to each other and to Usen. Our services were short.” – Geronimo (1829 – 1909) – Apache Chief
Edward S. Curtis is an American hero who created one of the most enduring and iconic visual records in the history of the photographic medium, a record that has informed our vision of who we are and where we came from. The images he created during his extraordinary, thirty-year odyssey have touched viewers throughout the world. Today he is believed to be the world’s most widely collected and exhibited fine art photographer. Over one thousand books, reviews, and articles have been written about Curtis and/or illustrated by his photographs, and his work has been exhibited in hundreds of venues in over forty countries. He was an award-winning artist, a consummate craftsman, a visionary, an intrepid entrepreneur, a technical innovator, a respected ethnographer, a superbly accomplished publisher, and a groundbreaking filmmaker. He was championed by Teddy Roosevelt, had the backing of the world’s wealthiest man, J.P. Morgan, and was literally front-page news across the nation; all this armed only with a sixth-grade education and a childhood steeped in abject poverty.
His work changed the way an entire nation viewed Native Americans. He accomplished this at a time when some individuals were actively advocating for the extinction of all Native people on this continent. His images have also moved and inspired extraordinarily broad and diverse audiences, transcending economic, cultural, social, educational, and national boundaries. Curtis co-created this unparalleled artistic, anthropological, and historic record with an estimated 10,000 Native participants. Today many Native people and their tribes find Curtis’ work an invaluable source for cultural and linguistic revivification. Over the past fourteen years Christopher Cardozo Fine Art has reached 10-15 million people on six continents with Curtis’ message of Beauty, Heart, and Spirit™. As we enter this unprecedented renaissance of appreciation for Curtis’ work, it is our commitment to reach another 10−15 million people worldwide by the end of 2018.
– Christopher Cardozo, October 15, 2015