Edward S. Curtis: Unpublished Alaska, The Lost Photographs Traveling Exhibition

 Traveling Exhibition

The Muskegon Museum of Art is proud to present, in partnership with the Curtis Legacy Foundation, Edward S. Curtis: Unpublished Alaska, The Lost Photographs. The exhibition features over one hundred previously      unpublished images from Edward Curtis’s voyage to Alaska   in 1927, the final expedition needed to complete his epic work, The North American Indian. Risking dangerous seas and fierce storms, Curtis visited some                                                                                                        of the most remote locations in Alaska to record the                                                                                                            lives and images of Native Alaskans. Excerpts from the                                                                                                        journals of Curtis and his daughter Beth supplement the                                                                                                      photographs.

            Cliff Houses on King Island


      On June 8, 1927, Edward Sherriff Curtis, accompanied by daughter Beth Curtis and newly employed Stewart C. Eastwood, set sail on the steamer ship Victoria towards Nome, Alaska. The purpose of their voyage was to complete the photography and research for the final, 20th volume of Curtis’s masterwork, The North American Indian. Begun in 1895, The North American Indian was the defining passion of Curtis’s life, an attempt to record, in writing and photography, the lives of the Indigenous Peoples of the United States west of the Mississippi. This trip, planned for a single season, would be the final voyage to complete his epic quest. Curtis took hundreds of images on his journey, only part of which were ultimately published. The rest sat, unseen, passed down through the family until today.

Edward Curtis: Alaska, The Lost Photographs presents, for the first time to the public, images made from the unused original negatives. 112 images comprise the exhibition, along with excerpts from the personal journals of Curtis and his daughter Beth that describe their often                                                                                         harrowing adventures in the Bering Sea. Supplemental text panels                                                                                     describe the history of Alaska and its Native people, placing the Curtis                                                                               photographs into the context of traditional and cultural practices that                                                                                   continue today. This exhibition accompanies the 2021 publication of the                                                                             complete journals by Curtis’s descendants in Edward Curtis:                                                                                               Unpublished Alaska. Copies of the book are available for sale by host                                                                                 venues.

             Edward and Beth on Steamer


Edward S. Curtis: Alaska, The Lost Photographs is organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art in Muskegon, Michigan in partnership with The Curtis Legacy Foundation. 


The exhibition is comprised of 112 framed photographs and framed didactic and introductory panels.  Electronic files for maps and object labels are provided.

            A-bi-ka, Cape Prince of Wales

Space and Installation Requirements

A minimum of 1,500 sq. ft. is recommended.

Fees: The exhibition leasing fee is $10,000 for a 12 week time period. Time periods are flexible based on availability.

Shipping charges are not included in the leasing fee and are the  responsibility of the borrower.

Security Requirements: Medium security. During public hours the exhibition must be under surveillance by trained security personnel or staff. After hours the gallery must, at a minimum, be monitored with electronic security.

Environment & Lighting: Gallery HVAC must be maintained at 70 degrees F +/- 5 degrees. Borrowers must supply a facility report prior to the delivery of the exhibition.

               Lu-nas-nin-ni, King Island

Programming: Members of the Curtis Foundation, including descendants of Curtis, are available for speaking engagements.

Shipping: Muskegon Museum of Art staff will coordinate shipping between venues. Shipping estimates can be provided.

Handling and Insurance: Host venues  must provide experienced preparators and/or curatorial staff to unpack, install, and pack the exhibition, as well as prepare condition reports upon arrival and before removal.  Venues will insure the art while on premises.

Booking Information:  Bookings will be accepted in the order they are received. While tentative holds are accepted, a signed contract with a deposit of $1,000 holds a firm reservation. Cancellation fees apply. For further information, or to book the exhibition, contact Art Martin at (231) 720-2582 or amartin@muskegonartmuseum.org.   


The Exhibition is available for slots of up to 12 weeks.


Venue periods are flexible with advance notice. Dates will be booked to allow a minimum of one week to install and one week to deinstall the show. Length of shipping periods will be determined by distance and  availability of transportation. 

September 16, 2021 – January 9, 2022

Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

Available beginning Spring 2022




                         Paul Ivanoff