Camera Workers, 1858-1950

The British Columbia, Alaska and Yukon Photographic Directory, 1858-1950

Curtis, Edward Sheriff[1, 2]

Male 1868 - 1952  (84 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Curtis, Edward Sheriff 
    Born 19 Feb 1868  near Whitewater, WI Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Where Active (Non-Specific Address) 1899  Alaska Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Harriman Expedition 
    Where Active (Non-Specific Address) 1914  Deer Island, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    opposite Fort Rupert, Vancouver Island, BC; movie location 
    Business Address/Year 1891-ca. 1940  Seattle, WA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 19 Oct 1952  Los Angeles, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6, 7, 8
    Buried Los Angeles, CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Address:
    Forest Law-Hollywood Hills
    6300 Forest Lawn Drive
    Los Angeles, California 90068
    USA
    http://forestlawn.com/hollywood-hills 
    Association Curtis, Asahel (Relationship: Brother ) 
    Person ID I514  Camera Workers | C, vol. 1, 1858-1900
    Last Modified 14 Jul 2018 

  • Notes 
    • STATUS: Commercial.
    • BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: E.S. Curtis' life story has been told several times, yet the early years of his photographic business have not been detailed to the extent that it is possible to fix a time prior to 1900 when he might have visited BC. Curtis had two partnerships in Seattle between 1891-1897 as a portrait photographer under the names Rothi and Curtis and Curtis and Guptil (Holm, 1980). He entered a collection of his photographs in the New Westminster Provincial Fair of 1898.

      Unlike his younger brother Asahel, whom he trained and sent to the Yukon to photograph the 1898 gold rush, E.S. Curtis never photographed in the Yukon. He was the official photographer to Alaska on the (Edward H.) Harriman Expedition of 1899. A description of his camera gear on this privately financed scientific expedition appears in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (21 May 1899, p. 13).

      In addition to his posed photographs of British Columbia First Nations individuals in the 1900s and 1910s, published as part the monumental The North American Indian (1907-1930), he also produced a melodramatic motion picture retelling a Kwakiutl legend. This was photographed in 1914 at Deer Island off Fort Rupert, northern Vancouver Island. The film, In the Land of the Headhunters, was rediscovered and restored with a soundtrack between 1967 and 1974; it was also retitled as In the Land of the War Canoes. Motion picture camera operator Edmund Schwinke also documented the filming with his own 1903 Kodak still camera.
    • IDENTIFYING MARKS: see Witkin (1979).
    • REFERENCES: (Vancouver) News-Advertiser, 1898 10 13/5; Witkin (1979); Holm (1980); Goetzmann and Sloan (1982); Lyman (1982); Frederick (1983); Flury (1984 01):24-43; Davis (1985); Washington State Historical Society, Northwest Imagery; University of Washington Libraries, Guide to the Edward S. Curtis Papers 1893-1983; University of Washington Libraries, Guide to the Souvenir of the Harriman Alaska Expedition Photograph Album Collection, May-August 1899; University of Washington Libraries, Harriman Alaska Expedition Photograph Album; Edward S. Curtis' The North American Indian Photographic Images (Northwestern University Library and American Memory, Library of Congress).

  • Sources 
    1. [S169] COLLECTION: UWL.

    2. [S818] Egan (2012), Egan, Timothy, (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2012), 927.7 CUR. (Reliability: 3), 2 Apr 2015.

    3. [S818] Egan (2012), Egan, Timothy, (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2012), 927.7 CUR., 8, 2 Apr 2015.
      "born near Whitewater, Wisconsin, on February 16, 1868"
      The California death record gives a birth date of 19 Feb 1868.

    4. [S667] FamilySearch.org (Web site), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
      Birth date: 19 Feb 1868
      Birthplace: Wisconsin
      "California Death Index, 1940-1997"; URL (accessed 14 Feb 2017): https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VP7X-M2R

    5. [S818] Egan (2012), Egan, Timothy, (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2012), 927.7 CUR., 313, 2 Apr 2015.
      "On October 19, 1952, Curtis died of a heart attack."
      This is the correct date of death according to the official California record.

    6. [S737] (New York) New York Times (Reliability: 2), 20 Oct 1952.
      According to the text quoted in Curtis' Wikipedia entry (viewed 23 Apr 2015), Curtis died the day of the obituary, that is, 20 Oct 1952. This is incorrect, however, given the official California record of his date of death.

    7. [S819] Seattle Times, 21 Oct 1952.
      Cited in Egan (2012), p. 349.

    8. [S667] FamilySearch.org (Web site), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
      "California Death Index, 1940-1997"; URL (accessed 14 Feb 2017): https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VP7X-M2R