The following was contributed by a volunteer book discussion leader. As previously mentioned, our group of volunteers this year is fantastic! Check them out for yourself at one of our upcoming discussions:
Monday, March 9 at 2:00 pm, Emeritus College, 1227 2nd Street, Room 407
Saturday, March 14 at 10:30 am, Cafe Bolivar, 1741 Ocean Park Blvd (free street parking on Saturdays)
After reading The Shadow Catcher, and the supplementary book about Edward S. Curtis (Shadow Catcher, The Life and Work of Edward S. Curtis by Laurie Lawlor) which was provided to me as a discussion volunteer, I was more intrigued about the photographer than the author. In my opinion, Wiggins told us plenty about the "fictional" Wiggins in the pages between the Clara and Edward story line. While Wiggins includes a few images of Curtis's work in the book, and a quick Google of Curtis will bring plenty more images of his photos right to your browser, I wanted more after reading all about him and being taken in not only by his photography, but also the controversy behind his work and his person. I wanted to see the actual images. Like Ansel Adams whose work, even in reproduction, never ceases to stop me in my tracks, details of photos taken when photography was in its pioneer days fascinates me much more than today's digital photography. Fortunately, I found out a few of Curtis's works and other events focused on him are just a hop, skip and a jump away from us.
The Getty Center has three Curtis' images in its collection. Unfortunately, these treasures are viewable by appointment only -- but it is easy to do! You can make an appointment (no fee!) to view the pieces by calling Paul Martineau at 310-440-7046.
You can see, by appointment, the complete collection of Curtis' 20-volume set at the Braun Research Library at the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Library system also has a copy of the volumes in its reference collection, and a presentation of resources on Edward S. Curtis and his work will be given on Thursday, March 12, from 12:15 - 1:00 pm by Eileen King, another Citywide Reads volunteer book discussion.
As part of the UCLA Film & Television Archive's 14th Festival of Preservation Curtis's film In the Land of the Head Hunters will be showing at the Billy Wilder Theater of the Hammer Museum on Saturday, April 26 at 7:00 pm.
Visit to experience the real Curtis', or at least the real pieces of his work ... getting to know and understand the man behind the work is another story -- one that we might have a glimpse into thanks to Wiggins.