For over thirty years, photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) traveled the length and breadth of North America, seeking to record in words and images the traditional life of its vanishing indigenous inhabitants. Like a man possessed, he strove to realize his life’s work, which culminated in the publication of his encyclopedia The North American Indian. In the end, this monumental work comprised twenty textual volumes and twenty portfolios with over 2000 illustrations. No other photographer has created a larger oeuvre on this theme, and it is Curtis, more than any other, who has crucially molded our conception of Native Americans. This book shows the photographer’s most impressive pictures and vividly details his journey through life, which led him not only into the prairies but also into the film studios of Hollywood.
Hans Christian Adam studied psychology, art history and communication in Göttingen and Vienna. As a specialist in historical images, he has published numerous articles and books, including titles on travel and war photography. He is the author of TASCHEN’s Edward Sheriff Curtis: The North American Indian, Karl Blossfeldt,Eugène Atget: Paris and Berlin, Portrait of a City.