Attendees at the Palm Springs Art Museum reception were the first visitors to see the extraordinary exhibition featuring a selection of vintage photographs by Edward S. Curtis.
The exhibit, Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks, highlights both iconic and previously little known images, revealing the aesthetic, emotional, and spiritual qualities, which are the cornerstone of Curtis’ art.
The event drew about 350 guests, including Tribal Council members from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Executive Director and Board members from the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, as well as a special appearance by Curator Christopher Cardozo. Cardozo is recognized as an authority on Curtis’ photography, and has written and edited nine monographs on the photographer.
This special event began in the Annenberg Theater with opening remarks by Elizabeth Armstrong, The JoAnn McGrath Executive Director for Palm Springs Art Museum, followed by Cardozo’s surprise presentation to Larry Olinger, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Tribal Council Vice-Chair, of an Edward Curtis print portfolio related specifically to the work Curtis did with the Cahuilla Indians. After the presentation of the portfolio Cardozo presented the lecture Edward S. Curtis: Sacred Legacy of Beauty, Heart, and Spirit.
In conjunction with this exhibition, the museum showcases a special installation of photographs taken by Curtis on loan from the collections of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, along with a selection of Native American objects from Palm Springs Art Museum's permanent collection. The exhibition will be on view through May 29, 2016.
Also opening along with the Curtis exhibition was Changing the Tone: Contemporary American Indian Photographers. This exhibition features photographs and videos by artists of Native American heritage including Gerald Clarke, Will Wilson, Kent Monkman, Nicholas Galanin, Shelley Niro, and Lewis de Soto. In images that reflect on portraiture, cultural heritage, and their relationship to the land, these artists offer diverse perspectives on Native American identity as well as on critical issues around photography as a documentary medium, i.e., the extent to which it is fact, fiction, or some combination of both. These works provide a contemporary context for Curtis's historical photographs.
Along with museum members at the reception, several prominent area philanthropists supporting the museum were in attendance including Donna MacMillan, Harold Matzner, Mary Ingebrand-Pohlad, Carol and Jim Egan, Luc Bernard and Mark Prior, Roswitha Kima Smale, John Renner, and Jan Salta. Special guests included Gerald Clarke, Visual Art Chair at Idyllwild Arts Academy and artist exhibiting in Changing the Tone, and Todd Brandow, executive director of the Foundation for the Exhibition for Photography.
Photography by Lani Garfield