Mountain Hawk Prints
Photogravures from Edward S. Curtis’s “The North American Indian,” by Mountain Hawk Prints
Holton Studio is proud to present Mountain Hawk Prints limited edition hand-pulled intaglio photogravures from renowned turn-of-the-century photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis’s historic masterwork, The North American Indian. Rather than relying on the deteriorated original plates, Mountain Hawk has used state-of-the-art technology to create new plates from pristine original folio prints. The results have all the sharpness and subtlety of the originals. Paul Unks, printmaker and principal of Mountain Hawk explains:
When Curtis first published his astonishing work, The North American Indian, he planned to print an edition of 500 original sets. An original set comprised 20 volumes of text, each book accompanied by a portfolio of 36 folio size prints. During Curtis’s lifetime, only 250 complete sets were produced.
This new series of photogravures was derived directly from the complete 20-volume set of Curtis’s vintage photogravures archived at Denver University’s Special Collections Department. Rare and inspiring, this early set of vintage gravures was struck from Curtis’s original one-of-a-kind copper plates on fine imported tissue, and is in mint condition, having been stored in a vault protected from deterioration. After this early printing, as time went on, the soft copper plate masters gradually lost their original fine detail due to many subsequent pressings. After Curtis’s death, his plates were further neglected for years in an abandoned warehouse causing more deterioration and loss of detail. Therefore, the early edition gravures we use have the greatest tone and detail available, providing the best original source for rendering prints of the highest order.
Rich in tone and detail, this limited edition of archival fine art gravures was produced by Mountain Hawk Production’s Master Printers using state of the art equipment, techniques and materials. Mountain Hawk’s mission is to produce the highest quality prints, without compromise, at a price to make these compelling and enduring images of the Indians more accessible. Each gravure is complete with its original text, including title, credits and plate number placed precisely in the border of the 100% cotton rag or tissue paper [Holton Studio is offering all prints on tissue] to achieve a thoroughly authentic finish.
Ranging from the moving portraits to sweeping dramatic landscapes, the collection includes 100 of the most sought after images representing the Southwest, Plains, and Northwest Tribal Nations, portraying the spectrum of Indian life as it was over a century ago. The artist lived and worked among the Native Americans for thirty years. He respected and honored the Indians. Fearing they were a ‘vanishing race’, he worked hard to preserve an awe-inspiring visual and written record. Because of Curtis’s vision, dedication, and talent, we have the privilege of being able to see them as they once were.
Visit Mountain Hawk’s website.