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The North American Indian.
The Complete Reference Edition.

Photographs and text by Edward Curtis. Forward by President Theodore Roosevelt. Under the patronage by J. P. Morgan.
Christopher Cardozo Fine Art, St. Paul, USA, 2018. In English. 5023 pp., 2,200 multichromatic sepia and 34 color illustrations, 54x13½".

Publisher's Description

Requires a 50% deposit payable upon placing order.

Domestic shipping approximately $330.00.

The North American Indian is a landmark in publishing history. We are pleased to offer this artisanal re-creation of this monumental work by Edward S. Curtis. Each Complete Reference Edition reproduces Curtis’ magnum opus in its entirety. This is the first time that a high-quality, modestly priced republication has ever been available.

The content of all twenty Volumes and twenty Portfolios have been re-created with exacting fidelity. This project is believed to be the largest republication project in North American publishing history. Over 35,000 hours have been invested in this project to ensure maximum accuracy, fidelity and beauty. High quality and archival materials have been used throughout the publication.

The Complete Reference Edition offers a finely crafted alternative to the original Curtis Sets at a mere 0.25% of the cost. The Complete Reference Edition has greatly enhanced readability, making it more accessible to a broader audience.

• Twenty quarto-sized Volumes: 5,023 pages of text containing over 2.5 million words and special characters and 1,511 sepia toned photographic prints and illustrations, of which thirty-four are in color.
• The twenty original Portfolios are presented in four Portfolio Volumes and comprise state-of-the-art recreations of all 723 original photogravure plates.
• All Native language special characters were individually recreated digitally for this Reference Edition.
• Greatly enhanced readability and accessibility for both text and images.
• All 2,234 photographs were digitally remastered by Master Printer Peter Bernardy, whose contemporary Curtis photographs have been exhibited in over one hundred venues in forty-two countries.

• The cover designs for the Volumes and Portfolios were inspired by the original hand-crafted leather and buckram bindings.
• The spine designs were custom created for this edition and incorporate Native symbols found in the original Volumes.
• Volumes and Portfolio Volumes are printed on high quality, archival, acid-free Finch Opaque paper.

The original text for The North American Indian was hand-cast in metal type and letterpress printed. It is beautiful and romantic. Unfortunately, the text is often difficult to read because of the small type size, inking issues and type degradation.




Although it is requiring a further investment of over 10,000 hours, Christopher Cardozo Fine Art chose to digitize, refine and improve all twenty Volumes and the two and a half million words and the special characters contained therein. Digitizing the text proved ideal for this artisanal edition of The North American Indian, as it retains the essential character of the original, yet is discernibly easier to read and more accessible to contemporary readers. Combined with contemporary printing methods, the digital type produces the sharpest, most legible letterforms for the text, and using the same typeface family as the original allows us to retain much of the original elegance. Digitization of the text has also allowed us to make subtle and nuanced changes that improve the overall layout and text flow.

Over 2,234 images accompany the rich and detailed text, representing the most widely celebrated component of The North American Indian. Christopher Cardozo Fine Art has printed Curtis images for over two decades, giving us a unique ability to print the images for this republication project. We have recreated prints combining the best aspects of Curtis’ photogravures with his award-winning platinum exhibition prints. After extensive research and development, we believe we have succeeded in creating digital prints that, while inspired by the original photogravures, are richer, more nuanced and more accessible. Our skilled team of master printers has created unique processes that enable us to consistently create exceptionally beautiful reproductions.

The original 20 Curtis Portfolios are replicated in their entirety in The Reference Edition. For convience and ease of viewing, the Portfolios for The Reference Edition are presented in four Portfolio Volumes. The four Portfolio Volumes comprise images from Portfolios 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, and 16-20, respectively. All Portfolio images were sourced from vintage, original photogravures from the Frederick Webb Hodge Set. The Hodge Set is one of the most valuable and important Curtis Sets in existence. This is the first time the Hodge Set has been used for reproduction purposes. The entire Set has been conserved and de-acidified, resulting in exceptionally beautiful files and reproductions.

The text and layout meticulously replicates the original Curtis Volumes. The Volume images were sourced from high-quality transparencies of original tissue photogravures, owned by Christopher Cardozo. This may be the only time a tissue Set of Volumes has been captured for reproduction purposes. The tissue Volume-size photogravures are the most highly regarded and beautiful of the three original printing stocks and thus yield exceptional reproductions.


• Edition Size: open
• Publication Date: May 2018
• Volume Dimensions: 9.125” × 12”
• Portfolio Dimensions: 13 ½” × 10 ½”
• Complete Set linear footprint: approximately 54”

Click here to view the video of the North American Indian Republication. Please note: this video details information regarding The Custom Edition. Details vary compared to the Reference Edition.


Requires a 50% deposit payable upon placing order.

Domestic shipping charge approximately $330.00.

Expected shipping date: late August 2018.

photo-eye also has a very limited number of Custom Edition Sets available. The Custom Edition is published in an edition of 75 leatherbound copies, with pigment ink images. To inquire, please contact us by email or telephone  +1 (505) 988-5152 x201

For general inquiries, please email us or call +1 (505) 988-5152 x201

Ordering Information
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Cat# ZH519H Hardbound $6,500.00   
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