Curtis, Edward S. 1868-1952
In the mid-1890s, Curtis started photographing local Native Americans digging for shellfish in the tidal flats of Puget Sound. Three of these sepia-toned, soft-focus images won first prize at the National Photographic Convention in 1899. Curtis' first formal Indian portrait was of the aged Kickisomlo or "Princess Angeline," daughter of Suquamish Chief Sealth after whom Seattle was named. Curtis' interest in Native Americans intensified in 1899 when he was invited to be the official photographer of the Harriman Expedition to Alaska, and again in 1900 when he accompanied the eminent ethnographer, George Bird Grinnell, to view a Sun Dance encampment of Blackfoot and Blood Indians in Montana. Over the next few years he expanded his collection of Native photographs with travels to Hopi, Apache, Comanche and other Indian territories.