Girl and Jar—San Ildefonso

Edward S. Curtis (American, 1868 - 1952)

before 1900. Oil on canvas, 22 7/16 x 17 11/16". 1998.006.023

Edward Curtis spent many years recording the disappearance of Native-American populations, peoples who by Curtis’s time were gathered on reservations and suffering from the lingering effects of war, disease, and malnutrition. Curtis worked methodically and tirelessly (his work was eventually published in some two hundred volumes), seeking to represent the physical and spiritual essence of each subject’s own culture. This young woman was called Morning Flower. She carries a jar on her head in a manner characteristic of the women of her tribe. Curtis’s treatment of his subjects ranged from straight, non-glamorized presentation to earnest romanticism.

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