The Three Chiefs, Lithograph
Curtis’ cardinal image, taken during his first encounter with Native Americans in their natural state.
Additional Image Information
The Three Chiefs, 1900
“The Three Chiefs” is, historically, undoubtedly the single most important of Curtis’ 50,000 photographic images. The photograph was made in the summer of 1900 and is the key image from that critical, watershed experience in Curtis’ life. It was during this short field trip to Montana with noted ethnographer George Bird Grinnell that Curtis first encountered Native Americans whose culture was still largely intact and who were also willing to share their religion, mythology, and personal lives with him. This brief experience ignited Curtis’ passion to preserve a comprehensive record of Native American life. This two-week experience inalterably changed Curtis and his life was never the same again. It is said that in making this image of three tribal leaders in their traditional garb on a typical upland prairie that Curtis spent three days looking for the perfect combination of riders, sky, and prairie.
- Produced using Curtis' original glass plate negative
- Six classic, iconic Curtis images
- Unique oversized presentation
- Hand crafted on heavyweight custom-made acid-free paper
- Limited edition with a certificate of authenticity