“Taken as a whole, the work of Edward S. Curtis is a singular achievement. Never before have we seen the Indians of North America so close to the origins of their humanity…Curtis’ photographs comprehend indispensable images of every human being at every time in every place”

~ Scott Momaday

This fall, the art we love includes a very special exhibit hosted by Atelier 6000. “Edward Curtis: Shadow Catcher” opened earlier this month and continues through October in Bend, Oregon. This major exhibit presents more than 50 original vintage photography prints by Edward Curtis. A famous Seattle photographer, Curtis spent thirty years seeking out, photographing, and documenting native tribes across the American West, British Columbia and Alaska.



Exhibit participants will discover Curtis’ photographic methods and the photogravure process used to etch photographic images into copper plates for printing. A wooden box camera, similar to one used by Curtis, is also on display at A6, courtesy of The High Desert Museum.

Special events throughout the exhibit include guided tours, art classes, and related events in collaboration with BendFilm, High Desert Museum and the Deschutes Public Library Foundation.


Guided Exhibit Tours at Atelier 6000

Participants will gain a greater appreciation for Curtis’s work in consideration of his motivations, artistic choices, and his lasting legacy. Guided tours are offered every Saturday through October with special tours for large groups available at A6.

Inspired by Curtis is a special class offering with instruction provided by Dawn Emerson. Working from costumed models, students will  combine drawing, rubbing, collage, and trace monotype to express the enduring power of the human figure.


BendFilm Presents – Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians – screening in Bend on 9/28 at Tin Pan Theater and at the  Madras Performing Arts Center on 10/3.

“Coming to Light” tells the story of the life of Edward S. Curtis, his creation of his monumental work, and his changing views of the people he set out to document. More importantly, the film gives native people a voice in the discussion of Curtis images. Hopi, Navajo, Cupig, Blackfeet, Piegan, Suquamish and Kwakiutl people, many of them descended from Curtis’s photographic subjects, tell stories about the people in the photographs, and discuss the meaning of the images from their own perspectives.


Deschutes Public Library Author! Author! with Timothy Egan, October 1st at Bend High School.

Egan’s 2012 biography of Edward Curtis—Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis—reached the N.Y. Times Bestseller List and was awarded a Carnegie Medal for Non-Fiction. Egan’s book delivers a rousing account of Curtis’ adventuresome spirit and dogged determination to pursue his Big Idea.


The High Desert Museum is also hosting a “From the Vault: Edward Curtis’s The North American Indian, a special exhibit showing through Oct. 31 (open daily 9-5). From the Vault at HDM is an unveiling of rarely-displayed materials from their collection.

High Desert Museum is also offering a special film screening of  Edward Curtis feature-length silent film – In the Land of Head Hunters (1914) on Oct. 19th. 7pm at the High Desert Museum.


We applaud A6 and all of the participating community partners for a comprehensive look at the groundbreaking photography of Edward Curtis.  Have you caught #CurtisFever? We’d love to hear about your first hand impressions. Please use the event hashtag and #HowToBend when sharing to social media.