1868 Curtis is born in Whitewater, Wisconsin, and grows up near Cordova, Minnesota.
1887 Curtis moves to Washington territory with his father.
1891 Curtis buys into, and later owns a photographic studio in Seattle, and develops a reputation for portraits and landscapes.
1895 Curtis meets and photographs Princess Angeline, the daughter of Chief Seattle.
1898 On Mount Rainier, Curtis meets a group of scientists, including noted anthropologist George Bird Grinnell and C. Hart Merriam
1899 Based on his acquaintance with C. Hart Merriam, Curtis is appointed official photographer for the Harriman Alaska Expedition.
1900 Curtis accompanies George Bird Grinnell to the Piegan Reservation in northwest Montana to photograph the Sun Dance ceremony.
1903 Chief Joseph visits the Curtis studio and has his portrait taken.
1904 President Theodore Roosevelt invites Curtis to photograph his children after seeing Curtis' winning photograph in "The Prettiest Children in American" contest published in Ladies' Home Journal. Louisa Satterlee, daughter-in-law of financier J. P. Morgan, purchases Curtis photographs at an exhibit in New York City.
1906 Curtis secures funds from J. P. Morgan for the field work to produce a twenty volume illustrated text American Indians, to be completed in five years.
1907 First volume of The North American Indian is published, with a foreword by Theodore Roosevelt.
1912 After 5 years, only part of the project (8 volumes) is completed 1913 J.P. Morgan dies, but his son decides to continue funding The North American Indian until finished.
1914 Curtis releases In the Land of the Head-Hunters, a motion picture depicting the "primal life" of Northwest Coast Indians.
1915 With 10 volumes of The North American Indian published, U.S. enters World War I. Interest in the project subsides, delaying publication of additional volumes for the next six years.
1916 Clara Curtis files for divorce; the divorce was finalized in 1919.
1920 With his daughter, Beth, Curtis moves photography studio from Seattle to Los Angeles. Curtis finances fieldwork by working in his studio and in Hollywood as a still photographer and movie camera operator for major studios.
1927 Curtis' Alaska trip culminates three decades of fieldwork.
1930 Last volume of The North American Indian is published.
1935 Materials remaining from The North American Indian project, including photogravure plates, are sold to the Charles Lauriat Company, a rare book dealer in Boston. Curtis turns his attention to gold-mining and farming.
1952 Curtis dies in Los Angeles.
The following vintage portfolio images are printed on Van Gelder, Holland utilizing the photogravure process.
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