Historic American Indian photos on display at Gettysburg College

The Schmucker Art Gallery at Gettysburg College will feature the exhibition “Edward S. Curtis: Photogravures from The North American Indian.”

More than 25 photogravures and related material on loan from The John Work Garrett Library of Johns Hopkins University will be on display Sept. 10 to Dec. 5. The gallery will host an opening reception Sept. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m.
 
An accompanying symposium, “Photographing the North American Indian,” with lectures by Elizabeth Hutchinson, asst. professor at Barnard College and Columbia University; Philip Earenfight, asst. professor and director of The Trout Gallery at Dickinson College; and Shannon Egan, director of the Schmucker Art Gallery at Gettysburg College, will take place Nov. 20 at 4 p.m. A reception will follow from 6 to 7 p.m. The gallery and events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
American photographer Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) produced the most recognizable images of Native Americans in the early twentieth century. These famous photographs were published as part of a twenty-volume series of photogravures and texts, “The North American Indian.”

To produce a photogravure, a photographic negative is etched onto the surface of a metal plate. The printing plate is then inked and printed by hand. “The North American Indian” is an aesthetic and ethnographic feat, as Curtis created artistic photographs and detailed anthropological records of all tribes west of the Mississippi River. His project was financed by banking magnate J.P. Morgan and lauded by Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt insisted that Curtis’s photography was “one of the most valuable works which any American could now do” and that it was “a good thing for the whole American people.”
 
An exhibition catalogue is available. This event is funded in part by Gettysburg College’s Events Planning and Coordinating Committee. For more information, call 717-337-6125 or visit www.gettysburg.edu/gallery.
 
The 1,600 sq. ft. Schmucker Art Gallery displays exhibitions throughout the year, including shows by local, national and international contemporary artists, a faculty exhibition, a student exhibition, the annual senior art major show and traveling exhibits. The gallery is on the main floor of Schmucker Hall at North Washington and Water streets and is fully accessible. The main entrance is through the quadrangle side of the building. Free parking is available in one of the visitor spots on campus or free, two-hour parking can be found on the streets adjacent to Schmucker Hall.

Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with approximately 2,600 students. It is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The college was founded in 1832.

By Kendra Martin, director of media relations, 717.337.6801

Posted: Fri, 4 Sep 2009

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