Edward S. Curtis Digital Collection
Preview up to 100 items from this collection below. Photographer Edward S. Curtis devoted two decades to making “The North American Indian,” an early 20th century photography and text project studying Western tribes.
Winter dance time
Helmi Juvonen was born in Butte, Montana on January 17, 1903. She worked in many media including printmaking, painting and paper-craft. She attended Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle where she met artist Mark Tobey with whom she was famously obsessed. Although she was diagnosed as a manic-depressive in 1930, she gained wide appreciation in the Northwest for her linocut prints depicting Northwest Indian people and tribal ceremonies. She worked with a number of artists on the Public Works of Art Project including Fay Chong and Morris Graves. Over the years, her mental health deteriorated and in 1960 she was declared a ward of the state and was committed to Oakhurst Convalescent Center. She was much beloved and had many friends and benefactors (including Wes Wehr) and was able to have exhibitions despite the confinement. She died in 1985.
Date: 1946View this item
Date: 1934View this item
Letter from Edward S. Curtis to Harriet Leitch, February 2, 1951
Letter from Edward Curtis to Harriet Leitch describing the production of his birthday portrait. He writes "It was the first time in eight years I had been to the studio; some of the girls threatened to kiss me - think of that - at my age." Curtis also writes about the distribution of the photographs to Seattle newspapers and others who have sent him written requests. He says that he has been delayed in responding to some of these requests due to the fact that the letters were lost while he was in a period of poor health and he has only recently uncovered them. He asks for Leitch's help in making sure the autographed photographs are properly distributed and adds that one should be sent to the Seattle Public Library as well.
Date: 1951-02-02View this item
Letter from Edward S. Curtis to Harriet Leitch, July 11, 1949
Letter from Edward Curtis to Harriet Leitch, apologizing for his slow response and explaining he is deep in his work on "The Lure of Gold." He writes that the size of the project is overwhelming and he is ""praying that I will live long enough to finish the job." Curtis discusses his climbs of Mount Rainier and his friendship with Ella McBride. He notes that she was one of the few women to summit the mountain unassisted and describes her as "my star helper" both in climbs of Mount Rainier and later, as an assistant in his photography studio. He writes that she lived with the Curtis family and was like a second mother to his daughters.
Date: 1949-07-11View this item
Letter from Edward S. Curtis to Harriet Leitch, November 4, 1949
Letter from Edward Curtis to Harriet Leitch describing his progress on "The Lure of Gold." He notes that publishing firm has expressed interest in publishing the work but he had to let them know it would be at least two years before he would be able to complete it. Curtis writes "For one of my age, that's looking far ahead."
Date: 1949-11-04View this item
Letter from Edward S. Curtis to Harriet Leitch, December 17, 1950
Letter from Edward Curtis to Harriet Leitch explaining that his poor health and ever present arthritis has forced him to stop work on "The Lure of Gold." He shares that his friends expressed concern over the time he spend hunched over his desk writing the material and that shelving the manuscript "was a serious blow and hard to take."
Date: 1950-12-17View this item