[PAST EVENT] Muscarelle Reads
Access & Features
- Open to the public
Join us for a virtual installment of our Book Club! Over the course of this series we will be reading books that are related to works of art and artists represented in the Museum’s permanent collection. In honor of several recent acquisitions of works by Edward Curtis, we have selected Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan.
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 all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.
Curtis spent the next three decades documenting the stories and rituals of more 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 amass more than 40,000 photographs and 10,000 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.
This installment will be moderated by David Brashear, Interim Director, and Danielle Moretti-Langholtz, Curator of Native American Art. We will be updating this listing once we have more information on the technological logistics involved with making this an enriching and enjoyable virtual experience.
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