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

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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…show more content…
Here is where Curtis learned the ins and outs of photography. Unfortunately Curtis was not able to pursue his career in photography just yet. In 1887 his father’s health took a turn for the worst forcing Curtis to pack up his family and move to the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately Curtis’s father passed away shortly after arriving in Seattle Washington. With the recent death of his father it was up to Curtis and his brother to support their family the best way they knew how. They pretty much took any jobs that where available, from picking fruit and vegetables to gathering seafood. The pay was minimal and the labor intensive, but Curtis and his brother were able to support their family. After saving up enough money Curtis purchased a home for his family and for the first time they were comfortable. Not long after Curtis purchased this house he was able to acquire a loan, unfortunately the only collateral that Curtis had was the house the he and his brother worked so hard to get. Curtis on the other hand believed in himself and was confident in his skills and abilities. Curtis took the loan against his home and opened his own photography studio. In a short time after an initial success he was able to pay back the bank and acquire a decent life for himself. Shortly after, he married a family friend named Clara Phillips, and had four children. At this time Curtis was considered one of the best in his field, a local
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