1924. Suffolk Engr. Co., Cambridge, Mass., 1924.
Photogravure, 21.75 x 17.5 inches.
§ A fine image from Curtis's The North American Indian, a portrait of a young woman of the Cahuilla tribe, from the deserts of Southern California, plate 522 from Volume 15 (1926).
The North American Indian remains one the most ambitious publishing projects and one of the most important works of ethnography of all time. J.P. Morgan provided the initial funding of $75,000 over five years but in the end Curtis worked for over 20 years to produce the 20 volume work. In that time he took over 40,000 photographs and made over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings to illustrate a detailed written record of the lives, languages, and beliefs of over 80 different tribes. The importance and the urgency of the task was clear to him, as he wrote in the introduction to his first volume in 1907, "The information that is to be gathered ... respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost." Item #123265