Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Egan Chasing Shadows


I have accumulated some books on the Washington State Landscape that deserve a write up hence wallula-gap and geology-of-san-juan-islands.
Timothy Egan took on Edward Curtis. Curtis moved to Washington State and started a photography business in Seattle. His fame is the photographs he took of First Nations peoples. Curtis' genius was recognizing that we would soon loose multiple cultures unless he captured those cultures before they were gone. He was not the only one to recognize this need, but he may have done more than anyone else capturing the shadows of the cultures that once inhabited our landscapes before they were gone.
Egan is one of our own and his perspective is appreciated. And the book manages to capture the capturer of shadows and another time so easily forgotten of the early days of the second nation in the Pacific Northwest and what is now Washington State. I particularly liked learning more about Asahel Curtis, Edward Curtis' brother as I have used his photographs in my own work. A. Curtis captured different images - numerous of geologic and historic importance and some that captured the shaping of our current landscapes.
I know that I have been frustrated at the loss of understanding of what once was the Pacific Northwest, but Curtis captured at least a part of that in his images and Egan gives this important work an added perspective. 

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