Image: The North American Indian , Portfolio VIII
(White Water, Wisconsin, 1868 - 1952, Los Angeles)

The North American Indian , Portfolio VIII , 1907 - 1930

22 in. x 18 in. (55.88 cm x 45.72 cm)
Gift of Nancy and Robert F. Meyerson
1992.44 a - kk
These images are from Curtis's massive publication “documenting” the lives of Native Americans.  In reality, Curtis posed his subjects and often gave them historical clothing or props to use.  Sébah, Emerson and Curtis blended two nineteenth-century traditions:  romanticism and ethnographic photography.  Seeking to give expression to cultures that were almost extinct or were totally foreign to their viewers, the photographers created staged scenes that ultimately reflected a stereotypical rather than a realistic view.
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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
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