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Qahatika Girl, 1904

“It’s such a big dream, I can’t see it all.” —Edward S. Curtis

Edward S. Curtis, Self-Portrait, 1899

SACRED LEGACY® THE FIVE YEAR VISION The year 2018 is the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Edward S. Curtis. Curtis created one of the largest and most important bodies of work in the history of the photographic medium. He is also the most widely collected and exhibited photographer in the 170 year history of photography. During the past fifteen years Christopher Cardozo Fine Art has brought the Sacred Legacy® created by Curtis and his Native collaborators to over 10,000,000 people throughout the world. The reception for this moving and iconic imagery has been extraordinary. The work has been seen on every continent but Antarctica, from Papua New Guinea to Peru to Paris. Cardozo Fine Art’s goal is to reach another 10–15 million people over the next five years with this message of Beauty, Heart and Spirit. We have witnessed, over and over again, the power of the Sacred Legacy® to touch people regardless of their age or culture. It is a deeply human story. We intend to reach both traditional and entirely new audiences. We will do this through a wide variety of means; traditional museum exhibitions, major publications, an App, eBooks, etc. we are also committed to creating a Curtis/Sacred Legacy Museum and to the repatriation of 10,000 Curtis photographs to Native People. Perhaps the most important legacy of Curtis’ monumental accomplishment is the communication of an extraordinary and deeply felt empathy and understanding of the personal, emotional, and spiritual lives of the American Indian and how this informs our understanding of what it means to be human. The work’s core message is one of beauty, heart, and spirit. In it’s breadth, depth, and content, this collaborative body of work is unique and unparalleled. In celebration and commemoration of The Curtis Sesquicentennial we have embarked upon the Five Year Vision which follows. —Christopher Cardozo


“Beauty, Heart & Spirit” Exhibition Cargill Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

“Edward Curtis: Sacred Legacy” Exhibition Sejong Museum of Art, South Korea

PRINICIPAL GOALS 1) Edward Curtis/Sacred Legacy Museum [2018] (Permanent museum plus possible satellite museums.) 2) 10,000 Print Repatriation [2013 – 2018] 3) Television Special [2018] (one hour special or 2-3 part mini-series for PBS, History Channel, etc.) 4) “Ultimate” Curtis Exhibition [2018 – 2019] * 5) “Ultimate” Curtis Publication [2018] * 6) “100 Masterpieces” Exhibition [2015 – 2017] * 7) 100 Masterpieces Publication [2015] * 8) By Her Hand Publication [2014] * 9) “By Her Hand” Exhibition [opens 2013] *

* Notates projects that are committed to and ready to be implemented.

“Sacred Legacy” Exhibition National Museum of Art, Bucharest, Romania

“Sacred Legacy” Exhibition Mille Lacs Indian Museum , Onamia, MN

OTHER PRIORITY GOALS 1) “Sacred Legacy Experience” Pop-up Museum Model [2014 – 2015] (multi-media installation and exhibition) 2) Large scale photographs in public spaces [2014 – 2018] (indoors/outdoors, JR Model, etc.) 3) Ebook for schools [2014/2015] 4) “Sacred Legacy IV” Exhibition [2014 – 2018] 5) Reprints of Previous Publications [2014/2015] (The Women, Great Warriors, and/or Sacred Legacy) 6) Smaller contemporary show [2014 - ?] (Tribal colleges and small Native American communities) 7) Curtis App [2014] 8) Curtis Mobile [2014 - ?] (Travelling exhibition “on wheels” brought to various communities.)


Native Nations, 1st Edition Curtis Imagery reproduced as quadratone plates.

Sacred Legacy, 1st Edition Custom leather portfolio, with an original Curtis platinum photograph.

Mini Book Set, Volumes 1-4 This four-book set highlights four of Curtis’ greatest themes.

Sacred Legacy, 1st Edition, The only book to ever highlight all the photographic print processes in which Curtis worked.

The Great Warriors 100 of Edward Curtis’ most compelling images of tribal leaders and warriors.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES 1) Feature Film [2017/2018] 2) Nomadic Museum [2015 - ?] (“Ashes & Snow” model) 3) Outdoor Exhibitions [2015 - ?] (“Earth from Above” model)

FUNDING 1) Internal financing 2) Foundation, Government, and Tribal Grants 3) Corporate Partnerships 4) Crowdfunding for specific projects

EXHIBITION MEDIA COVERAGE Our Sacred Legacy Exhibitions have received print, television, and/or radio coverage in over forty countries. The response has been over-whelmingly positive and has reached well over 10 million people worldwide.

“Sacred Legacy” Exhibition review Buenos Aires Herald, Buenos Aires, 2005 “Sacred Legacy” Exhibition review Clarin Newspaper, Argentina, 2005

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“Sacred Legacy” Exhibition review Mexico, 2005

05/17/2006 11:45 AM

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“Sacred Legacy” Exhibition Review Schumacher Gallery, Columbus, OH


“Thank you for showing me my culture.” — from the Beauty, Heart and Spirit Exhibition guestbook. Cargill Gallery, Minneapolis 2012

“Recently I went to the Minneapolis American Indian Center...On the second floor of the center, I noticed a series of faded Curtis photographs on display. As I walked along the corridor examining the images, I was startled and moved to see that one pictured my great-great-grandfather. Through these powerful images we are reminded that our relatives are always with us. Eventually I saw several Native American kids with their parents who were also looking at the photograph. I couldn’t help overhearing their conversation and their fascination with the images. It was evident in their eyes that Cutis’s work had survived not only as a testament to one man’s vision, but also as a glimpse into the past for generations of Indian people.” —Joseph D. Horse Capture An excerpt from “A Personal Legacy”, a letter from the book, Sacred Legacy

“Some years ago I purchased a Curtis photograph of Plains Indians on horseback, moving with travois across an immense landscape of grasses.…I had not seen the photograph before. It struck me with such force that tears came to my eyes. I felt that I was looking into a memory in my blood… There is a quality to the image, the composition, the invisible plane beyond the surface of the scene that is ineffable. It is a quality that informs the greatest art, and it is the standard in the Curtis photographs…” —N. Scott Momaday, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author

“Sacred Legacy” Exhibition Brochure National Museum of Ethnology, Lisbon, Portugal December 2005

Excerpt from “Art in Embassies Exhibtion” Brochure Pretoria, South Africa


Christopher Cardozo Fine Art (CCFA) has created the most extensive exhibition program of Curtis photography in history. It is estimated that CCFA’s exhibitions have been attended by more people around the world than all previous Curtis exhibitions combined. Christopher Cardozo began exhibiting the work of Edward Curtis over three decades ago. Today the exhibitions have been seen in over forty countries and on every continent but Antarctica. It is estimated that through his books, exhibitions, lectures, and former gallery, Cardozo has brought Curtis to well over 10 million people worldwide. The following is a selection from over one-hundred venues that hosted our “Sacred Legacy” Exhibition.

Hotel de Sully Sparkasse Cultural Foundation Musee de l’Elysee Museo delle Culture del Mondo The State Ethnographical Museum National Museum of Art of Romania BNC Gallery: Centro Peruano Americano Guatemala Binational Center Gallery of Photography Pinelo Gallery National Library DaShanZi Art Gallery Aigantighe Art Museum Caixa Cultural National History Museum-Plaza de Armas

Paris, France – September ‘00 Cologne, Germany – March ‘01 Laussane, Siwtzerland – June ‘01 Genoa, Italy – December ‘05 Warsaw, Poland – May ‘06 Bucharest, Romania – June ‘06 Trujillo, Peru – June ‘06 Guatemala City, Guatemala – October ‘06 Dublin, Ireland – December ‘06 Athens, Greece – December ‘06 Beijing, China – June ‘07 Timaru, New Zealand – August ‘07 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – May ‘09 Santiago, Chile – February ‘09

Untitled Self-Portrait (Curtis with whale), 1914

EDWARD S. CURTIS Edward Curtis was born in 1868 and grew up in abject poverty in rural Minnesota. He built his first camera at age twelve and thus unwittingly embarked on his lifelong photographic career. In 1887, Curtis moved to the Pacific Northwest where he quickly positioned himself as Seattle’s foremost studio photographer. This success gave him the freedom to pursue his love of the great outdoors and this activity brought him into contact with small groups of Native Americans who were still living somewhat traditional lives. These experiences led Curtis to begin, by 1900, an undertaking that would consume him for the next thirty years. This project was the creation of his magnum opus, The North American Indian, a twenty volume, twenty-portfolio set of handmade books. Each Set contains over 2,200 original photographs, plus extensive text, and transcriptions of language and music. It is difficult to overestimate the enormity of Curtis’s task. The project involved over one hundred artisans, translators, sales staff, logistical support, field assistants, accountants, etc. In today’s dollars it was an approximately $35,000,000 publishing project, unparalleled in American publishing history. While The North American Indian is an inestimable contribution to the worlds of art, photography, ethnography, and fine bookmaking, the project nearly killed Curtis. He lost his family, his money, and his health. By 1930 he was a broken man. While he lived out the rest of his life in obscurity, he left us with a sacred legacy that may endure for many centuries to come.

Offering to the Sun - San Ildefonso, 1925

Š Copyright Christopher Cardozo Fine Art, 2013

Sacred Legacy: The Five Year Vision  

A brochure highlighting the five year vision of Cardozo Fine Art.

Sacred Legacy: The Five Year Vision  

A brochure highlighting the five year vision of Cardozo Fine Art.