Edward S. Curtis was commissioned by J.P. Morgan to compile a series of books depicting Native American life in 1906. Several other photographers were hired by the federal government to photograph Native Americans, but Curtis had a particular knack for portraiture, and so his photographs capture more than just the appearance of his subjects, but also their spirit. He also worked to document their traditional lifestyle before it disappeared.
As I continue with my First Citizens work, I find myself drawn more and more to Curtis' photographs for inspiration. It is no wonder, given the beauty of his subject matter and the extraordinary breath of his work. Even his own self portrait captures more than his appearance. Perhaps I should include him in my list of future projects.