Photogravure printed on Holland Van Gelder paper, 31.7x24.1cm (12.5x9.5in), with image size of 18.7x13.6cm (7.4x5.4in). Mat size is 35.5x33cm (14x13in). The name, Deserted Lodge - Yakima, is printed to the bottom left of image and From Copyright Photograph 1910 by E.S. Curtis, centered just below the image. The Van Gelder paper has a few small tears to the bottom edge, likely remnants from being disbound from a larger volume, and a couple of offset tape stains to edges, all hidden by the mat. Slight wave to photogravure. Mat has lightly bumped corners. This image can be found in Volume 7, facing page 26 of The North American Indian. Photogravure in Near Fine condition.
The Yakama tribe lives in Central Washington between the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River. These tule-mat lodges were used when the tribe moved from the lowlands to the mountains during the summer months. An evocative image full of history!
Edward Sheriff Curtis, photographer and ethnologist, was best known for his photographs and documentation of the North American Indian during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Curtis worked for 30 years to complete The North American Indian, a 20-volume study of over 100 tribes with over 2,000 photographs. This extensive endeavor was dubbed by the New York Times to be “the most ambitious enterprise in publishing since the production of the King James Bible.” Over the years, there has been some controversy about his photographs being staged; using wigs or dress that were not generally used during the period and even taking out modern objects like clocks to show more historical renderings. The Smithsonian Magazine recognizes this and states “The photographs of Edward Curtis represent ideals and imagery designed to create a timeless vision of Native American culture at a time when modern amenities and American expansion had already irrevocably altered the Indian way of life.” Curtis must have felt as though he were racing against time to respectfully preserve and record the traditions for future generations before they vanished.