Sacred Legacy
Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian

One hundred years ago, Edward Sheriff Curtis began a thirty-year odyssey to photograph and document the lives and traditions of the Native peoples of North America. Magnificent, breathtakingly beautiful platinum and silver prints comprise a significant number of the images in the Sacred Legacy traveling exhibition, offering a new understanding and appreciation of Curtis' singular photographic achievement. Among these are many of his most masterful images—stunning evocations of the Indians and the evanescent world they inhabited. The finest examples of Curtis's work, including platinum and silver prints, gravures, albumen prints and cyana-types, have been selected for inclusion in this exhibition by Christopher Cardozo, the foremost authority on Curtis. These photographs comprise nothing less than the most accurate and comprehensive presentation of Curtis' work since nearly a century ago. The images contained here have had an immense impact on the national imagination and continue to shape the way we see Native life and culture.