George Catlin and Edward S. Curtis Comparison Essay by RightRiters

George Catlin and Edward S. Curtis
A comparison of the photography of Edward S. Curtis and the art of George Catlin regarding the depiction of Native Americans.
# 23600 | 900 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jan 29, 2003 in Ethnic Studies (North American) , Art (Painting) , Art (Photography)

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This paper discusses how no two artists have captured the essence of the Native American Indians as inspiringly as George Catlin and Edward S. Curtis. It shows that while most of the world considered the Native Americans as savages and godless people, Catlin and Curtis have managed to bring the truth home in incredibly detailed pictorial journals. It describes how the vivid colors of Catlin's work is a sharp contrast to the black and white photography of Curtis. Catlin's style and his use of colors enhance the fantasy world in which he viewed the Native Americans living in whereas Curtis, used his camera to capture the realism of the Native people and their lifestyle.

From the Paper:

"There is hardly a book published on Native Americans that does not contain a Curtis photograph. While Catlin's landscapes had a whimsical quality to them, Curtis' photographs capture the wholeness and wonder of the land. He had a remarkable eye for composition. "Canon de Chelly, Navajo" shows the majestic rock formations towering above the horseback riders below. It is a perfect example of how minute humans are in comparison to the earth (McLuhan 1971). "Piegan Sun Dance Encampment" a photograph of a camp of teepees on the prairie, again captures the majesty of the land."

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