An Exploration Of Edward Curtis, Life, Career, And Controversies

1500 Words Sep 29th, 2015 6 Pages
An Exploration of Edward Curtis; Life, Career, and Controversies By Michael Seagraves
History of Photography
Tuesday-Thursday
10:50-12:05

Edward Curtis was an American photographer mostly known for capturing the great American west and the Native American peoples. Edward Curtis has had a long and successful career, with that success inevitably comes controversy. Curtis’s work could be viewed as exploitive and staged. In this paper I will discuss the early years of Curtis’s life and career, his most noted work, and the controversies surrounding the photographer. Edward Curtis was born on February 16, 1886 in White Water Wisconsin. Curtis grew up in a family of four that had very little if not any money. Just getting back from the civil war, Reverend Johnson Curtis had no money and very little means to raise a family. The family would go two or three days at a time without eating, on nights the family could afford food their diet was mostly potatoes. Curtis finished his formal education by the age of twelve, after that he travelled with his father to speak to his congregation. It was most likely these trips that sparked Curtis’s love for the outdoors. Curtis made his own camera out of a lens his father had brought back from the war, and spare parts he purchased here and there. Along with following his father this sparked a passion that would ultimately lead to a successful and noted career in photography.
At the age of seventeen Curtis moved to St. Paul Minnesota,…

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