Skip navigation

Clay Jenkinson on The Native American Photography of Edward S Curtis

26 Oct
When: Tuesday October 26th, 07:30 pm - 08:30 pm

Part of the My Thoughts My Voice My Art Series

Art advocacy appropriation and the myth of the vanishing Indian

Produced by Clay Jenkinson and Paul Lasakow
Clay Jenkinson, Humanities Scholar and Star of Public Radio’s “The Thomas Jefferson Hour”
Thomas Siegmund, Professor of Photography, Tidewater Community College

Humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson and Professor Tom Siegmund will discuss the thirty-year photographic odyssey of Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952). Believing that Native American culture would soon disappear from the American landscape, Curtis travelled through the American west to photograph Native Americans “before it’s too late.” The result was the twenty-volume North American Indian, the most ambitious ethnographic and photographic undertaking in American history. Everyone has seen some of Curtis’ most iconic photographs, even if they don’t know Curtis by name: “Canyon de Chelly,” “The Vanishing Race,” “Chief Joseph,” and “Vash Gon.”

Topics will include Curtis’ achievement and Curtis’ romanticization of Native Americans, his occasional manipulation of individuals and tribal authorities, his misguided notion that Native Americans were about to vanish permanently from American life, and his transgressions of crossing the boundaries of the sacred.

Questions and comments from the audience may be submitted through the YouTube livestream chat function.

Youtube Live

This event is open to the public.