Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis - An Oasis in the Badlands border=
Edward S. Curtis - An Oasis in the BadlandsEdward S. Curtis - An Oasis in the BadlandsEdward S. Curtis - An Oasis in the Badlands
SOLD
Title:
An Oasis in the Badlands
Size:
11 x 14 inches
Medium:
Vintage Goldtone
Signed:
L/R
 
Original frame.

Edward S. Curtis - Goldtone Description:

Edward S. Curtis perfected the medium regarded as Goldtone or Orotone to the extent he eventually named these images after himself calling them “Curt-Tones”. Most photographic prints are a positive image on paper. The Curt-Tone process Curtis used was created by taking a clear plate of optical glass and spread a liquid emulsion onto the surface of the plate. Curtis then projected his negative onto the glass to create a positive image. The highlights and shadows could not be seen unless there was some type of backing on the image. He mixed a combination of banana oils and bronzing powders to create a sepia or a goldtone effect, and then spread this mixture onto the dried emulsion.

"The banana oil stunk to high heaven. On the days that I did the
flowing, the German piano teacher in the basement got his
students to pound on our floor because it smelled so awful."
~ Margaret Gaia, one of Curtis' studio assistants, 1984

The final process involved backing the glass image to so that all the chemicals bonded together. The brilliance of the gold reflecting through the glass gave the Curt-Tone a truly three-dimensional quality with an aura unmatched by any other photographic process. When Edward S. Curtis was asked to describe the Curt-Tone process he said:
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