Enduring Spirit, an Exhibition at The Taft Museum featuring Photographs of North American Indians

The Taft Museum of Art currently has an AMAZING collection of photographs on display, one that you don’t want to miss. The exhibition is Enduring Spirit: Edward Curtis and the North American Indians and it features the work of Edward Curtis, an early 20th Century photographer who sought to capture what was a disappearing world in his day – the living culture of the American Indian.

photo courtesy of the Taft Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of the Christopher G. Cardozo Collection; Edward Curtis, photographer

Edward Curtis (photographer) started his career in Seattle. He became an award winning portrait photographer who caught the attention of Teddy Roosevelt. After Roosevelt commissioned Curtis to take pictures of his family Curtis walked away with connections that would later lead to the funding of his project, documenting the disappearing culture of Native Americans.  Based on a recommendation from Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan funded Curtis’ field work for 5 years.

Curtis continued his work long after Morgan’s five year commitment, culminating in a 20 volume, 20 portfolio publication titled “The North American Indian”. Curtis traveled the country for more than 20 years and took 40-50,000 images from over 80 tribes.

Photo courtesy of the Taft Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of the Christopher G. Cardozo Collection; Edward Curtis, photographer

Curtis gave all that he had to this project and, sadly, died in obscurity in 1952. His work was rediscovered in the 1970’s and is now considered the most recognized photography in the history of the medium.

Photo courtesy of the Taft Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of the Christopher G. Cardozo Collection; Edward Curtis, photographer

The exhibition showcases several different photographic media including platinum prints, gelatin silver prints, goldtones, photogravures, and cyanotypes.

The exhibition contains images that you’re likely to recognize as well as many unknown photographs from Curtis’ work.

Photo courtesy of the Taft Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of the Christopher G. Cardozo Collection; Edward Curtis, photographer

Enduring Spirit: Edward Curtis and the North American Indians is at the Taft Museum of Art through September 20, 2015.

And if you happen to visit the Taft Museum while their Linder Family Cafe is open, be sure to have something from the amazing exhibition-inspired menu. I had the “Fry Bread” for lunch while I was there and can honestly say that I am still craving the bread from this meal!

Fry Bread at the Taft Museum of Art Cafe

Click here for details on admission and hours at the Taft Museum of Art.
Enduring Spirit will be on view through September 20, 2015
Docent led exhibition tours are offered on Saturdays at 1:30pm. Remaining dates are August 22, 29 and Sept. 5, 12, 19 (2015).

About Bridgett Raffenberg 869 Articles
Cincinnati lover, Mom, wife, travel enthusiast, Wordpress lover (not necessarily in that order). Founder of 365 Things to do in Cincinnati.

2 Comments

  1. Very much enjoy and look forward to your Cincinnati highlights. Thursday 9/3 going to the Taft Museum to look at Native American exhibit. I would not have known it was there if I had not read your “things to do.” Thanks, you do a great job.

    • Awww, thank you, Leigh. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Those images are stunning and the story of Edward Curtis is amazing.

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