Pioneering photographer Edward S. Curtis captured the daily and ceremonial existence of the Native Americans during the period 1900-1930. His ambitious project was endorsed by then President Theodore Roosevelt and financed by JP Morgan. Curtis’ goal was to produce a 20 volume set of ethnographic text illustrated with high quality photogravures.
The exhibition consisted of 20 images from the Complete Portfolio. The Portfolio came to the Dubuque Museum of Art once again through the auspices of the Carnegie-Stout Public Library. Former Dubuque native, Mrs. Emma H. Ward gave the portfolio to the Library as a memorial to her late husband, Hiram Pond Ward. This Portfolio came under the care of the Museum in 1999, with other significant works from the Library’s collection.
After languishing for years unnoticed, the Curtis photographs resurfaced in the 1970’s and are now recognized as one of the most significant records of the Native American cultures ever produced.