Jim Kershner’s this day in history
From our archives, 100 years ago
The headline on the cover of the Sunday magazine section shouted, “Spokane Secures Curtis Great Illustrated Library of Indian Life.”
The story explained that the Spokane Public Library had purchased photographer Edward Curtis’ landmark portfolio of American Indian portraits. The library was one of 500 subscribers to the Curtis work, said the story, and “none are sold for less than $3,000.”
“In another century, the work will be priceless,” said the paper.
It was still a work in progress. Curtis had delivered eight volumes and was working on Volume Nine. When finished, it would run 20 volumes, with each volume containing 75 large photogravure prints.
Curtis was a Seattle-based photographer, but he had “been making Spokane his headquarters for some time.” Arrangements were under way “for an exhibition of his pictures at the library in December.”
“It will be a revelation of art as well as life portrayal of Indian existence, and no idea of the magnitude of the work can be formed without seeing it,” said the story.
Today, the Curtis collection remains in the vault of the Spokane Public Library and is available to researchers and scholars.
Also on this date
(From the Associated Press)
1973: President Richard Nixon told Associated Press managing editors in Orlando, Fla.: “People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.”