Message #22:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:  "'z Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: AAHS talk on Edward Curtis, Photographer
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 20:23:52 -0701 (MST)
Status: RO  

Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society (AAHS) talk on Edward Curtis,
January 15th, 1996

[For more information on the AAHS program, contact Laurel Cooper at or (520) 327-7235.]

Edward Curtis' photographs of American Indians have found renewed popularity
in recent years but they have also been criticized for distorting the
realities of his day. His work at Hopi between 1900 and 1920 will be
discussed in a joint presentation by film-maker Anne Makepeace and project
consultant Hartman Lomawaima on Monday, January 15, at 7:30 p.m. in DuVal
Auditorium, University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell, Tucson. Also on
hand for the discussion will be two University of Arizona scholars of
the history of photography, Dr. Keith McElroy from the Department of Art and
Tim Troy from the Center for Creative Photography.

The program is made possible by a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council,
the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The
monthly program of the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society (AAHS)
is free and open to the public.

Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) is the best known and most prolific of the
photographers who created images of American Indians in the early part of
this century. Like most of his contemporaries, he believed that the
traditional Indian cultures were doomed to disappear. He used the same
pictorial style as for his studio portraits of Seattle society women and
children, with dramatic close-ups, diffused lighting, soft focus lenses and
abstract backgrounds.

Curtis first went to Hopi in 1900 to gather material for his monumental The
North American Indian. He returned often during the next twenty years, a
time of major changes in the lives of the people that he photographed.
Volume XII of The North American Indian was published in 1922.

Anne Makepeace is working on a docudramatic film about Curtis' visits to
Hopi, The Shadow Hunter. During four years of research and several
trips, Makepeace met with elders and their families, concentrating on First Mesa
where Curtis did most of his work. She learned the identity and the stories
of many people and even met two elderly women who remembered being
photographed by Curtis.

Makepeace organized an exhibit on the reservation of copies of Curtis
photographs, the first time that many saw pictures of their relatives. The
fifty framed prints were formally presented to the First Mesa clan leaders,
so that a permanent record of Curtis' work would stay where it was made.
Despite the controversies about Curtis'  romanticization of Indians and
despite the sensitivity of Hopis to photography, the photographs are
considered important historical documents by the Hopi Office of Cultural

Anne Makepeace's film credits include Ishi the Last Yahi, which was
broadcast on PBS American Experience in 1994, named best documentary at the
Native American Film Festival, and nominated for an Emmy.  She graduated
from Stanford where she also earned Masters in Education and in Film Production.

Hartman H. Lomawaima has been a consultant for the Curtis Project on the
Hopi Reservation for three years.  Associate Director of Arizona State
Museum since 1994, he has a B.S. from Northern Arizona University and an
M.A. from Harvard.