ABOUT THE FOUNDATION

OUR MISSION

The Curtis Legacy Foundation
preserves and strengthens awareness of Edward S. Curtis’ photography and ethnology while advancing knowledge about the North American Native Peoples he visited.

Edward Curtis pictured with three scouts who were with George Armstrong Custer just before the massacre at the Battle of Little Big Horn. L to R: Goes Ahead, Hairy Moccasins, White Man Runs Him, Edward Curtis, guide Alexander Upshaw. 1906

WHAT WE DO

We preserve the history of Edward S. Curtis through research and publication about his life and by safeguarding important archives of his work.

  • We provide an unparalleled library of photographs, documents, family stories, and research archives about the life and work of Edward S. Curtis. 

  • Our Curtis Census project documents the locations and provenance of all known copies of The North American Indian.

We advance knowledge about the rich cultures of the Peoples and places he once saw.

  • Through the Descendants Project, we tell the continuing stories of the Peoples whom Curtis photographed and recorded at the start of the 20th century.

The Curtis Legacy Foundation is a registered nonprofit charity in the United States. Donations to the foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION

My great-grandfather, Edward Sherriff Curtis, saw a culture vanishing from this world and was driven to document all he could before it was gone. His dream to “make them live forever” slipped into oblivion after the Great Depression and the public lost interest in the plight of Native Peoples. Fortunately, his work has gained much acclaim and recognition since the early 1970s after being rediscovered in the basement of a Boston bookstore. At the same time, there has been some controversy surrounding his photographic achievements (although not the body of text contained in the twenty volumes of the North American Indian). It has been my dream to continue the work he started: assuring that his legacy is carried forward by telling the stories and photographing the descendants of his work. With this in mind, I created the Curtis Legacy Foundation™ in early 2019. With the help of my sisters and a dedicated group of volunteer board members, we are continuing the journey that my great-grandfather started more than a hundred years ago.

John Graybill

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

JOHN GRAYBILL

PRESIDENT

John is the youngest of only three great-grandchildren descending from Edward Curtis. John and his wife Coleen live in Buena Vista, Colorado in their perfect mountain cabin at 9000 feet. John got his photography degree at the Rhode Island School of Photography in 1979.

 

After a 29-year career managing Midas stores and 7 years as an Apple Genius, John retired from the corporate world. He now enjoys photographing alongside his wife, a 30-year veteran as a professional portrait and fine art photographer.

 

John has been the leader of Curtis' descendants in creating this new Foundation to carry on the legacy of their great-grandfather, Edward Sherriff Curtis. He feels it’s time for the family to step forward and spread the word of Curtis’ grand opus.

JANET PARCHER

SECRETARY

Janet Parcher, the “middle” great-grandchild of Edward S. Curtis, lives in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. She is a graduate of Washington State University, like her father James Graybill and her daughter Kristen. Go Cougs!

 

Janet spent many years working for the guide service on Mt. Rainier followed by just as many years as a paralegal. Retiring to her family ski cabin she enjoys skiing, hiking, golfing and gardening (where the local elk can’t get to the produce).

 

Growing up with Curtis photographs hanging on the walls of her family home and listening to stories told by her grandmother Florence of travels with “Father”, Janet is excited about the recent resurgence of Curtis’ work due to the 150th anniversary celebration of his birth. She is looking forward to working with her brother John and sister-in-law Coleen in furthering Curtis’ legacy and on the Descendants Project.

TIM GREYHAVENS

TREASURER

Tim Greyhavens is an independent photo historian, writer, and photographer based in Seattle. His work explores transitions in photography from the late 19th to the mid-20th centuries.

 

Greyhavens is the creator and Editor of the Curtis Census, an independent effort to advance knowledge about Edward S. Curtis and The North American Indian by conducting and publishing relevant research. The Census also serves as a repository for archived documents and current studies related to the publication of Curtis’ books.

 

He also writes about the intersections between photography and philanthropy. As part of this interest, in 2016 he developed the Photo Funds Database, a free, searchable online list of more than 2,800 grants, awards, and crowdfunding campaigns for photography.

Mark Andrew is the great-grandson of George T. Andrew, the “Son” in John Andrew & Son, the company who produced the photogravures for The North American Indian. Mark and his wife Linda are both retired and live in Rumney, NH. Mark worked for the True Value company as a Retail Consultant for many years, as well as owning his own wholesale business and managing other retail businesses throughout his career. He also has an extensive history of volunteer work in his community.

Mark grew up with a stack of “Indian pictures” (original Curtis photogravures) around his home, and he is excited to share his business expertise with the Curtis Legacy Foundation.

MARK ANDREW

BOARD MEMBER

Ann Bonin is the first great-grandchild of Edward Curtis and lives in Massachusetts close to her two grown children and five grandchildren. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science degree.

 

Now retired, Ann has had experience in commercial and residential real estate, operating a small business in the Hospitality industry and being on a Board of Governors for her local country club.

 

Ann enjoys researching and learning about the life and accomplishments of her great-grandfather and being involved with conservation, protection and the legacy of his work.

ANN BONIN

BOARD MEMBER

SHAWN POHLMAN

BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Shawn Pohlman is a registered nurse who has worn many hats over her 40 year career: neonatal intensive care clinical nurse specialist, professor, qualitative researcher, and published author. As a doctoral student, Shawn studied interpretive phenomenology, a qualitative research method aimed at understanding the meaningful worlds of human beings through in-depth interviewing. To fund her dissertation on fathers of premature infants, she was awarded two grants, including one to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

 

Shawn has a passion for art, which first began as a young girl drawing pictures of birds portrayed on a coveted collection of greeting cards. As a young woman, she vividly recalls her first exposure to the work of Edward S. Curtis as she stood gazing at his photographs hanging on the walls of the Graybill family home. She was immediately drawn to those Native American portraits then, and now. Today, Shawn’s artistic passions include a love of gardens, birdwatching, art museums, and all that nature has to offer, great and small.

LIZ ROSS

BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Liz Ross is the retired Executive Director of the Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center, and she currently works as a mentor/consultant for businesses. Liz also is a Professor for Columbia Southern University, an adjunct Associate Professor for the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Master’s program, and an instructor for the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management.

 

Liz also serves on the national board of the American Indigenous Business Leaders student organization and as an office of the board for the Quota International of Fairbanks.  As a former CEO of an Alaska Native Corporation and Chairman of the board, she provides real-world experience on the pitfalls to avoid in business.

 

The daughter of Anna Grace Nashalook and granddaughter of Joe O. and Ola Nashoalook of Unalakleet, Alaska. Liz embraces both her Inupiat culture and her Jewish culture, and she provides a unique perspective as a Descendant of Curtis’ work.

© 2019 by  The Curtis Legacy Foundation
 

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

FOLLOW