Original Copper Photogravure Printing Plates


For the first time in the entire 109-year history of Edward S. Curtis' The North American Indian, the Original Copper Photogravure Printing Plates made by Curtis to produce the prints of The North American Indian, are being offered for individual sale through the Bruce Kapson Gallery.

Significantly, the Copper Photogravure Printing Plates are the source of origin for every vintage photogravure print extant produced in Curtis’s monumental work, The North American Indian. The Original Copper Photogravure Printing Plates are the rarest form of any vintage photographic work ever produced by Curtis. Each Plate is a unique work, and a primary document of one of the most significant publishing ventures of the 20th century. There exists only one Copper Photogravure Printing Plate for each image.

Edward S. Curtis spent more time painstakingly perfecting the imagery of each Copper Plate than on anything he ever printed or any of his other photographic processes, working the Plate to get a print that would equal or better the original negative. The finished Copper Photogravure Printing Plate represents Curtis' most evolved vision for The North American Indian.

The three-dimensionality of these polished Copper Photogravure Printing Plates offers a wholly new experience, one that is distinct from Curtis’s gravures, photographic prints and goldtones. They are startlingly beautiful and viewers new to the work are immediately transmitted through the frame to the very moment the image was captured through Curtis’s lens. The Plates are truly transcendent works of art.

Plate availability and price upon request.