Humanities author Clay Jenkinson will lecture and present a presentation on Edward S. Curtis, a photographer whose work focused on the American West and on Native American tribes, for The Seattle Public Library’s 2018 McLellan/O'Donnell Living History Series from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 at Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway.

Library events are free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Jenkinson will discuss Curtis' life and work (slipping into the character of Curtis now and then), including Curtis' work with JP Morgan, his many visits to the heart of Indian America, his relationship with Theodore Roosevelt, and the compilation of Curtis' 20 volumes of his book "North American Indian." Jenkinson will also talk about some of the more controversial issues around Curtis' work, such as cultural appropriation, his treatment of his wife and family, the ways in which he cajoled Native Americans into showing him sacred objects or dressing in a sacred way, and divulging cultural secrets.

At the presentation, you'll also see a working model of the camera that Curtis used to discuss and show examples of the techniques of lantern slide photography.

Performer Bio

Jenkinson, a Rhodes and Danforth scholar, is a co-founder of the modern Chautauqua movement. He has dedicated the better part of his life to researching the historical characters he portrays and to defining the "living theatre" of Chautauqua. Previous characters have included Thomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, J. Robert Oppenheimer and John Steinbeck. Jenkinson hosts the weekly syndicated radio program, "The Thomas Jefferson Hour." He is director of the Dakota Institute, a columnist for the Bismarck Tribune, and founder/chief consultant of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University.

About the Program

The McLellan/O'Donnell Living History Series was established by an endowment created by the McLellan and O’Donnell families to ensure that our community would enjoy programs that bring history to life for generations to come. The Living History Series is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation and media sponsor The Seattle Times.

The Library brings people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community. We support universal access to information and ideas, and form strong partnerships with community organizations to offer performance art that is accessible to all.