Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis Read & Download Õ 104

review ☆ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ï Timothy Egan

All up to pursue his Great Idea to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappearedCurtis spent the next three decades documenting the stories and rituals of than eighty North American tribes It took tremendous perseverance ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him to observe their Snake Dance ceremony And the undertaking changed him profoundly from detached observer to outraged advocate Curtis would am. If only I had read Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis before my trip to Seattle this past June The trip was wonderful but this book would have greatly enhanced the trip There were many places I missed not knowing they existed The19 million dollar 23000 suare foot cultural center of the Tulalip Indians would have been a place to visit My road trip to Mount Ranier's Paradise would have been meaningful Hopefully I'll visit this area again If you don't have time to read the long version of my comments suffice it to say I loved this book and highly recommend it Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis was such an interesting read for me on many levels There's the history of Seattle the culture of its American Indian Tribes the beauty of the Cascades and Mount Rainier the lure of the west of long ago What makes this book shine is the story of the Shadow Catcher himself Edward Curtis a brilliant photographer a man with a challenge that would haunt his soul and become the meaning and also the obsession of his life His dream to record through images and word a twenty volume set detailing the dying rituals stories and culture of The North American Indian Timothy Egan excellently takes us on Curtis's three decade journey starting with his captivation at age 12 with his father's Civil War lens an accident at age 22 that left him confined to bed for a year his fascination with a 14x17 view camera which could hold a slice of life on a a large format glass plate negative with such clarity it made people gasp These are the beginnings of his life long obsession with capturing what others could not After Egan sets the big ideain the year 1900 Curtis's story unfolds in chapters of time almost like the photograph stills he took In 1900 Curtis boards The Great Northern Railroad to Indian land long forgotten by Americans He lands in Browning Montana the land of the Blackfeet Nation and here the first step is taken the first sketches writings and photos His plan to photograph all intact Indian communities left in North America to capture the essence of their lives before that essence disappeared Egan ends each chapter with a few images that are relevant to the text These are stunning but left me wanting for Much to think about in these pages I've read other books that present the American Indian viewpoint on broken treaties and loss of their lands but the images here bring it home sad and sorrowful yet proud strong and hopeful too I was troubled yet impressed by the persistence of Curtis's life long ambition to his project I was amazed that a man who was once renowned who was invited to photograph Theodore Roosevelt's children who then became a friend and often guest of the President whose dream was funded by the lion of Wall Street JP Morgan who married a beautiful smart woman Clara who bore him four children and was initially behind him; this same man several decades later died penniless virtually alone with his life's work unappreciated He never knew how important his accomplishments would be Was it all worth it in the end In addition to Roosevelt and Morgan Curtis 's life crossed with so many other colorful and interesting people Belle Greener the woman hired to oversee Morgan's library journalist William E Myers who wrote much of the copy for the Indian volumes Frederick Hodge an anthropologist with the Smithsonian Edmond S Meany history professor botanist who helped photograph the Sioux His closest friend Alexander Upshaw a Crow Indian spent years roaming the countryside helping Curtis in his research Upshaw died in an icy jail cell reportedly from pneumonia after a drinking binge devastating Curtis The Crow nation felt Upshaw was murdered severely beaten by a group of white men after an argument and then dragged off to jail where he succumbed to his injuries In 1927 Curtis and his daughter Beth journey to Nome traveling the 2350 miles by sea Curtis described Nome as a dump Once the largest city in Alaska with a population of fifteen thousand it now had only a few hundred tired souls in what he describes as a hand me down town The Alaskan Eskimo was the subject of the last of the twenty volumes the culmination of the dream Again at what priceEdward Curtis could have been a fine portrait photographer and wealthy man but at what cost to his own plan his dream his desires There are many wonderful websites where you can view his photographs and find further information about The North American Indian I would suggest Northern University Digital Library Collection Edward S Curtis's North American Indian

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Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward CurtisAss than 40000 photographs and 10000 audio recordings and he is credited with making the first narrative documentary film In the process the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian“A darn good yarn Egan is a muscular storyteller and his book is a rollicking page turner with a colorfully drawn hero” San Francisco ChronicleA riveting biography of an American original – Boston Glo. I'm only about halfway through but I don't need to finish before giving it five stars Timothy Egan is to books as Ken Burns is to television a master at bringing history and its players to life But I'm kicking myself I lived in Seattle for many years Edward Curtis's home base I'll bet there were plenty of times I could have seen exhibitions of his photographs there's probably a permanent collection in one of Seattle's museums but I never sought him outThis book makes me long for the days when ordinary people tried to do extraordinary things In Curtis's case it was recognizing that a way of life was passing and preserving something of that way of life This book would be appreciated by anyone interested in Native Americans but also for fans of early photography travel and adventure and for learning about the movers and shakers in areas of education business politics and journalism in the early 20th centuryIt's nothing less than a marvel I'm reading an ARC supplied by 's Vine program but will be buying the hardcover The ARC doesn't include all of the photos that will be in the final version The pictures are gorgeous and I want to see all of them

Timothy Egan Ï 4 Read & Download

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis Read & Download Õ 104 ✓ “A vivid exploration of one man's lifelong obsession with an idea Egan’s spirited biography might just bring Curtis the recognition that eluded him“A vivid exploration of one man's lifelong obsession with an idea Egan’s spirited biography might just bring Curtis the recognition that eluded him in life” Washington Post Edward Curtis was charismatic handsome a passionate mountaineer and a famous portrait photographer the Annie Leibovitz of his time He moved in rarefied circles a friend to presidents vaudeville stars leading thinkers But when he was thirty two years old in 1900 he gave it. Egan is a compelling storyteller He wove the events of Curtis's life into a cohesive narrative a story with high stakes and heartbreak and Curtis was rendered as a character of interest which will be appealing to many of us who know him only as the person on the other side of the camera who created so many portraits of Native people across North AmericaHowever I felt that this was much too rosy a portrait of Curtis or at least one that does not interrogate his actions Curtis was a non Native man who worked tirelessly to create lasting iconic images of Native authenticity He wanted to preserve a race that he believed was vanishing Indeed we are incredibly fortunate to have these images not because they capture vanishing peoples but because they allow Native peoples to see images of those who came before people who shape our livesI believe it's important to acknowledge that while these images are valuable some of these images as Egan writes were posed This was prevalent in some regions than others This does not make the photos worthless but I believe Egan would have done well to linger upon this fact rather than skating past it Curtis had something at stake in rendering Native people as static figures stuck in the past resisting progress not only did he hold romantic notions of tribal life as I gathered from Egan's depiction but he had books to sell and the vanishing Indian seemed to be appealing in an oversaturated marketTo set Native people in the historic past is to turn us into museum pieces This legacy continues today and Curtis had a monumental role in perpetuating the idea that Indians were a vanishing people In fact Indians have not vanished; Native communities changed because of contact and adopted many of the ways of the colonizers but Native Americans have not at all vanished It's certainly true that fullblood Indians have dwindled in numbers but this hardly means that Native communities are dying out Egan uses 2010 census data that includes only people who declare themselves to be Indian alone to provide the current Native American population curiously not using the census data expanded in 2000 that allowed respondents to choose American Indian and another race reflecting the inevitable truth that Native people are becoming racially mixed However this does not mean that we are disappearing or less pure; tribal communities are incredibly vibrantEgan's unwillingness to push against this notion that ran through Curtis's life's work surprised and frustrated me Toward the end of the book Egan briefly acknowledges and brushes aside some of the significant criticisms of Curtis's work I believe that it's entirely possible to appreciate a person's work and see its value while still uestioning the motives and dissecting the legacy Constantly I work against the stereotype that Indians are museum pieces situated in the past whose best days are gone Egan also recounts an episode in which Curtis extracted information from an informant that led to disastrous results I was troubled by this because in so many communities desperate people have taken money or goods in exchange for closely guarded community information and this led to bad ends in many cases In this book this episode seemed to be treated simply as one part of the adventure with no real conseuences for Curtis or interrogationEdward Curtis made significant contributions to my community and to many others; I have to say that I love so many of his photographs especially those that tell me where I came from But I believe his artistic motives and legacy were complicated He was an outsider imposing his gaze upon Native communities and he didn't always do so responsibly I think Egan missed out on some thrilling tension by turning this into the story of a hero and glossing over these aspects of this complicated career