Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis - Unpublished the look Out - Apsaroke border=
Title:
Unpublished the look Out - Apsaroke
Date:
1908
Size:
12 x 15 1/2 inches
Medium:
Vintage Platinum Print
Signed:
L/R
 
Edward S. Curtis was a photographer and printer of stunning technical virtuosity. He printed a small body of his earliest and finest negatives in platinum, printing out prints, and silver processes specifically for personal exhibitions and sale to elite patrons. In these master exhibition prints, Curtis’ technical virtuosity is hallmarked by tremendous subtlety, delicacy, and richness. They are his greatest images executed in the most dramatic, challenging processes of photographic expression.

Today, master exhibition photographs comprise substantially less than one percent of Curtis’ extant work. These seminal pieces embody the impetus of the project and the genius of the artist himself. These rare, haunting photographs are unparalleled as permanent documents of Native American life. In all respects they are the masterpieces of Curtis’ lifetime.

Platinum Prints

Platinum printing may be the most beautiful and exacting of all photographic printing processes. Although an exceptionally demanding and expensive medium, Curtis printed a small body of his best images in platinum. Platinum prints are Curtis’ most highly realized photographs, exhibiting miraculous tonal subtlety and resolution.

In platinum printing, platinum-based photographic emulsion saturates the paper fibers—in other processes the emulsion is suspended above them. The image thus forms within the paper, itself, resulting in a delicacy and depth that is a hallmark of Curtis’ platinum prints.

Curtis’ platinum prints were often printed on heavily-textured watercolor paper, blind stamped with a copyright credit, and signed. Due to platinum’s noble nature, these prints have aged with remarkable stability and developed superb patinas.
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