Edward S. Curtis The North American Indian

Business News |Jun 7, 2017|2 min read

May 24, 2017, Muskegon, Michigan – The Muskegon Museum of Art presents a panel discussion, Seeing Edward Curtis: 21st Century Perspectives, on Thursday, June 22. The event will start with a reception at 5:30 pm. The panel presentation begins at 7:00 pm in the MMA’s auditorium. The reception and program are free and open to the public.


Ben Mitchell, Guest Curator for Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian, will moderate the panel discussion. This program focuses on the controversies surrounding Edward Curtis’s work and today’s perspectives on his legacy as seen by Native American artists, curators, art historians, and anthropologists.

Panel participants:

  • Deana Dartt, Ph.D., Coastal Band, Chumash, Independent scholar and curator
  • Jim Denomie, Ojibwe, Prominent Native painter and printmaker
  • Shannon Martin, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, Director, Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways


This program accompanies Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian, an exhibition of national significance organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art, which is open now through September 10, 2017. Curtis’s portraits of Native Americans and their lifestyles, mores, and spiritual practices have become iconic over the past century, and not without controversy.


For what may be the first time, the entire collection of 723 original photogravures from Curtis’s North American Indian portfolio will be on display. The exhibition explores the depth, breadth, and lasting cultural legacy of this monumental body of photographic and ethnological body of work. The exhibition, both survey and critique, tells the story of one of the most prominent photographers of his time, who sacrificed everything for his work, only to die in obscurity.


Curtis undertook a passionate 30-year quest to create a historical record of what he believed to be a “vanishing race,” photographing Native Americans and documenting the rich and varied cultures of over 80 different tribes. Most of these tribes still survive today, despite half a millennium of ordeals, obstacles, and successive betrayals at the hands of the U.S. government and military.


This program is one in a series of special programs accompanying the exhibition. Visit muskegonartmuseum.org for more information or call (231) 720-2571. The Muskegon Museum of Art is located at 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon, MI.