It has been nearly 43 years since Edward S. Curtis’ photogravures captivated the Sacramento Valley with his spirit of Native America.
“The last time this exhibit took place in the Sacramento Valley occurred in 1973 at the Crocker Art Museum,” Pat Ash said.
Curtis devoted the next 30 years to photographing and documenting over 80 tribes west of the Mississippi, from the Mexican border to northern Alaska.
The rare exhibit offers a window into the past, with more than 70 original prints of Native American tribal members from the Pacific Northwest photographed by Curtis in the early 1900s. Curtis’s portraits of chiefs, warriors, hunters, fishermen, basket weavers, and medicine women provide an intimate look at what Curtis feared was a vanishing way of life.
“It is said he had an attraction to the native Americans and thought they would lose their heritage,” said Ash.
The full-size photos capture the essence and spirit of Native America.
“Some of the images are so powerful and breathtaking,” said Ash, “it’s something everyone should experience.”
The Citizens for a Better Williams will begin hosting the exposition Saturday, Nov. 5, through Sunday, Nov. 27, upstairs at the Historic Masonic “Tuscan Lodge.” The Lodge is located at 528 7th Street in downtown Williams.
“It is a real honor and privilege to host such an event,” Ash claimed. “This is an excellent learning tool for everyone; these are images rarely seen — their not in history books.”
The cost to attend the event is $15 for adults and $10 for students. The exhibition will be available Wednesday to Sunday, from 10 AM to 5 PM.
“We welcome bookings for private showings, and shows for schools,” said Ash. To reserve your private booking or for more information, contact Ash at (530) 520-0096.
A special opening night reception and ceremony will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5.
“Our friends of the Cortina Rancheria Band of the Wintun Indians will be joining us and will bless the collection,” said Ash. “The owner of the collection, Kirk Rudy Mcloud of the Edward S. Curtis Gallery in McCloud, CA, will also be in attendance.”
“He has been impressed by what Citizens for a Better Williams has done for our community,” she said.
Tickets are available for the opening ceremony and reception. The cost is $40 per person and $75 for a couple. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and beverages available. Tickets can be purchased by calling (530) 520-0096.
Ash added that photographs in the collection are available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Citizens for a Better Williams. ■