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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Preservation. 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.