Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) left an indelible mark on the history of photography in his 20-volume life's work, The North American Indian.
Part photographic essay, part ethnographic survey, and part work of art, Curtis' North American Indian Project represented an attempt to capture images of American Indians as they lived before contact with Anglo cultures. The photogravure prints in The North American Indian reveal peoples whose traditional ways of life were coming to an end as the U.S. frontier began to fade.
Thirty years of grueling work on the North American Indian Project cost the artist his marriage and his health. It also yielded an American legacy that is an artistic masterpiece.