Kickstarter Preview and FAQ


Just to give you a teaser of what’s to come… This is a rough draft (subject to change) of our Kickstarter Campaign so you can plan ahead!



Why can’t I get one today? You can NOT pledge your donation/purchase/reserve photogravures prior to when the campaign goes LIVE this coming Monday, June 17th at 5pm. I know you are as excited as we are, but patience grasshopper.



What is Kickstarter? Kickstarter is a online crowdfunding company. Instead of trying to find a venture capitalist to invest in your company, you raise the money needed for your project by generous donations from the public.



How does this all work? We have set a goal of $25,000 to print 60 photogravures and then have 28 days to raise the money before our deadline of July 15th. We expect to entice potential consumers with a many different pledging levels. If you keep scrolling down this very long blog post… keep going… keep going… lol, you will find all the different donation levels and what the thank you gift is for that level. The money raised will cover the cost of all the thank you gifts, the 60 photogravures and shipping of everything.



What if you don’t raise enough money? The nice thing about the Kickstarter system is that it’s all-or-nothing:


  • Your credit card isn’t charged until the project meets its goal.
  • If we don’t get enough pledges to pay for the printing, that tells us that there isn’t enough interest and that we shouldn’t waste our money.
  • This protects YOU in that you aren’t donating to something that not enough money was raised for to bring the project to full fruition.



Why are there different prices for the photogravures? If you are thinking you would like one of these photogravures, there are only 6 of each print that will be offered at the Early Bird pledge level… another 10 at a higher amount. Bottom line is, don’t drag your feet! These will never again be offered at these prices. You are helping us get them printed, and we are very grateful, so we are giving you a special deal!




Where do I go when the campaign goes live on the 17th at 5pm? Here’s the link you will need: Remastered Original Photogravures by Edward Curtis



Other than our profile, nothing will show up at that link until it goes live. If you have questions, please contact us! It will help us fine tune before the actual kickoff.








Remastered Original Edward Curtis Photogravures



Printed for our biggest Curtis fans… 



Cañon de Chelly  /   Vanishing Race   /    The Scout – Apache



Thank you for checking out our project! Our goal is to print 60 total prints of three famous Edward S. Curtis images—Cañon de Chelly, Vanishing Race and The Scout-Apache. These three photographs are being produced from actual Curtis Studio glass plate negatives passed down through the Curtis/Graybill family.



I am John Graybill, President of the Curtis Legacy Foundation. My two sisters and I are the only great-grandchildren of Edward Curtis and have finally made the commitment to continue our ancestor’s great dream; to bring the history, knowledge and understanding of the Native American culture to the world. I say finally because while we were growing up there were always Curtis images all over the house—it was no big deal. According to my dad, it was to be kept that way. He despised anyone who made money from Curtis’ photographs because like most famous artists, Curtis himself died poor and unrecognized for his work. It has taken until now, for us to realize the importance of Curtis’ own descendants sharing our family history; we have documents and treasures that other researchers/historians don’t have and we feel the need to share it.



Just before our father’s passing at the beginning of 2019, my sister’s and I presented the idea of carrying on the Curtis legacy through the founding of a non-profit in Curtis’ honor. Our father, Jim, was one of only two grandchildren of Edward. Our Uncle Ted was killed in WWII before he could marry and have children, thus leaving the responsibility of carrying on a legacy in my immediate family’s hands. We also asked dad specifically about selling photogravure prints made from the glass plate negatives passed down to him, and now to me. Dad was glad to see his children’s strong interest in carrying the torch and thought these were both great ideas. Somewhat to our surprise, we got his blessing!



Vintage originals can run from $3,000-$100,000 (depending on the image), putting them financially out of reach for a lot of people, leaving them to only be displayed in private collections and museums. We want to print new photogravures from these negatives, giving you the best reproductive quality available today, at a much more reasonable cost. Yes, there are other reproductions on the market, but most are either a lesser quality printing process or made from copying original prints, thus also reproducing the texture of the paper they were originally printed on as well. Every time you make a copy of a copy, it reduces the quality of the print.



A Remastered Original means that we have digitally cleaned up imperfections on the image and worked the subtleties of the negative to achieve the highest quality and richest reproduction possible, while still maintaining Curtis’ original intent.



I’m sure you are asking “what is the difference between a photograph and a photogravure?” Digital (direct to plate) photopolymer gravure printing is done using a photopolymer plate which is printed on directly bypassing the traditional film overlay, resulting in a high quality plate that can reproduce the detailed continuous tones of a photograph. These types of prints are individually printed… one… at… a… time.  Roll on ink—wipe to right amount of ink—run through the press—wipe the plate totally clean—start inking all over again. We know you will like the results! Go here for more information on the photogravure process.



We have choosen this process for our prints because it was one of Edward Curtis’ favorites. All of the tissue and fine art paper prints in The North American Indian and portfolios were printed using this method. The archival value of photogravures using proper inks and quality papers is substantially longer than that of silver-gelatin and current photographic processes, thus giving you a print that will stand the test of time, 600 years or more! This makes these prints truly an investment that you will be able to pass down generations. Our intention is to give you amazing affordable prints that mirror Curtis’ vintage originals but not at vintage prices—we want them in your home, not locked up in a museum.



A huge part of our mission is to tell the stories surrounding the images. The more I know the stories about the images, the more I like them. You will get a story with each image you pledge to!



Cañon de Chelly by Edward Curtis, 1904
Cañon de Chelly by Edward Curtis, 1904


Have you ever looked really closely at the image Cañon de Chelly? There are, what I believe to be, 5-7 spirit orbs in the image. Check out the enlarged image below with some of the orbs circled. I didn’t notice them until I was working up the image for printing. I started taking them out digitally, but then realized what they likely were. When we were in Cañon de Chelly last fall, I asked my Navajo guide about them. He enthusiastically agreed that there are spirit orbs all over the canyon. That was all the affirmation I needed! Can you imagine what those spirit guides are trying to tell us?



In a note written by Edward to his son Hal in 1948, he asked if Hal remembered the face in the rock from the family trip to the canyon in 1904. If you look above the left side riders, you’ll see the profile in the highlighted rock.


Cañon de Chelly Orbs
Cañon de Chelly Orbs



Vanishing Race - Navaho by Edward Curtis 1904
Vanishing Race – Navaho by Edward Curtis 1904


Vanishing Race is also of the Navajo Nation and likely taken in Cañon de Chelly or Cañon del Meurto. This image, according to Edward’s son Hal, was taken with new equipment and was severely underexposed. They had to work very hard in the darkroom to result a good image. Regardless of what Curtis’ initial intention for the image was when he clicked the shutter, sometimes the mistakes end up telling the story better than you planned. His fear for his Native friends was that their way of life was disappearing due to the white colonization and he felt this image portrayed that—that they were headed into the dark unknown.



Curtis was very saddened by this thought and in his own words to President Teddy Roosevelt wrote “You realize too, Mr. President, that the Indians we are looking at in these pictures will no longer be with us 50 years from now. This great race of people in their primitive state will be vanishing from the earth. White man’s progress will eliminate their way of life and all they hold scared. In the westward thrust of civilization there is no place for him unless he sheds his beliefs and assumes our mode of life.” 



Thank goodness they held tight to their beliefs through this dark time and are now becoming stronger than ever! We want to celebrate this strength and resilience by keeping Curtis’ images in the public eye, bringing attention to the resurgence of this amazing culture.



The Scout - Apache by Edward Curtis 1906
The Scout – Apache by Edward Curtis 1906


The Scout – Apache “To follow them was a fruitless task which often led to the destruction of the pursuers. The primitive Apache was a true nomad, a wandering child of Nature, whose birthright was a craving for the warpath, with courage and endurance probably exceeded by no other people, and with cunning beyond reckoning. Although his character is a strong mixture of courage and ferocity, the Apache is gentle and affectionate toward those of his own flesh and blood, particularly his children. Fear, to him, is unknown. Death he faces with stolid indifference; yet Apache men have been known to grieve so deeply over the loss of a friend as to end their troubles by self-destruction.”  Volume 1, page 14, The North American Indian by Edward Curtis



As you can tell, all of Curtis’ images are not only rich with stories and culture, but are beautiful fine art worthy of hanging in any office or home. How would you feel if anyone of these images, or all three for that matter, we hanging in your home? Just imagine the stories you will be able to tell your friends and family about them, showing your support of not only Curtis’ work, but understanding the need for diversity and other cultures to richen everyone’s lives. With your backing of this project, we can make this a reality!






Pledge $1 or more – Custom pledge amount with no reward 



You just love our project and want to help! If you want to give a custom amount and don’t want to receive a thank you gift, click here and receive our utmost gratitude. Thank you for considering our project worthwhile! Every dollar helps us to reach our goal of printing 60 of these amazing photogravures.



Pledge $25 or more –  5 Edward Curtis Greeting Cards



You will receive 5  5×7″ blank cards printed on 10 pt matt card stock of 5 different Curtis images, including envelopes. These beautiful greeting cards are perfect for thank you notes, get well soon messages and congratulations!



On the back of every card is a story taken directly from Edward Curtis’ writing in The North American Indian. Our hope is that you find this little snippet intriguing enough that you finding yourself looking it up in that volume and reading more!



Pledge $50 – 10 Edward Curtis Greeting Cards



You will receive 10  5×7″ blank cards printed on 10 pt matt card stock of 5 different Curtis images (two each), including envelopes. These beautiful greeting cards are perfect for thank you notes, get well soon messages and congratulations!



On the back of every card is a story taken directly from Edward Curtis’ writing in The North American Indian. Our hope is that you find this little snippet intriguing enough that you finding yourself looking it up in that volume and reading more!



Pledge $100 – 12 Month 2020 Curtis Calendar



This 11×17″ 12 month calendar is spiral bound at the top and includes 13 images from Edward Curtis’ North American Indian. The pages are printed on a nice heavy weight paper and won’t curl on you! Each month includes a photograph and a story about the image taken straight from the volumes. We want you to learn about the person or tribal nation in each of the photographs, so we all have a better understanding of this amazing culture.



Pledge $250 – 11×14 Fine Art Print



We have chosen one of favorites images, Black Hair, taken by Edward Curtis in 1905 for this pledge level. This image was NOT used in Curtis’ 20 volume “The North American Indian” nor in the accompanying portfolios.



The image itself is approximately an 8×10″ image printed with about a 1-1/2″ white border. It is printed on Hahnemühle Torchon paper, a pure cellulose watercolor paper with a distinct textured surface. It will be mounted on 3mm white styrene to prevent warping… and will look incredible on your wall!



Pledge $500 – Curtis Family Favorites Collection

This collection consists of 10 Edward Curtis prints on sturdy triple thick art paper inside a handcrafted image box. Curtis’ own descendants have selected their favorite images to add to this collection and have written an explanation as to why it’s their personal favorite on the back of each image, along with their name and relationship to Curtis.



The cover is a Mocha raw silk fabric with “Curtis Family Favorites Collection” embossed on the lower right corner in rose gold. It will be a perfect accent to most any home decor. 



Each image has a 1″ white border around the image making it suitable for framing or you can trade images in and out of the box and display them individually on an easel. We know you will love this collection!



Pledge $750-$1000 – Remastered Original Photogravures



Get one OR all three in the Trio Collection! These photogravure prints are made from actual Curtis Studio glass plate negatives, passed down to me, John Graybill, his great-grandson. These individually hand printed images are created on beautiful fine art paper. I will hand sign the back of each print and they also come with a Certificate of Authenticity and story about the image. These Remastered Originals will be approximately a 14×17″ image with a 3″ white deckled edge border.  (We are still in the proofing stages, so this could change slightly)



Be sure to check out the early bird specials! The earlier you pledge – the better the price!



First 6 of Cañon de Chelly – $750


Next 9 – Cañon de Chelly – $1000



First 6 of Vanishing Race – $750


Next 9 – Vanishing Race – $1000



First 6 of The Scout – Apache – $750


Next 9 –  The Scout – Apache – $1000



First 2 of The Trio Collection (all 3 gravures!) – $2000


Next 2 – The Trio Collection (all 3 gravures!) – $2500



Pledge $5000 – Private Presentation



John Graybill, great-grandson of Edward Curtis and his wife Coleen will give up to a 4 hour presentation to any group of your choosing in the contentental US. We could talk about the life and history of Edward or we could break it down into particular topics such as tribes he worked with most, his relationship with Teddy Roosevelt, his camera gear and types of printing or just share family stories. We have a wide range of knowledge so we could Q & A for hours!



John and Coleen are also working on the Descendants Project. John, as the direct Descendant of Edward Curtis, is seeking out the Descendants of Curtis’ images. He and Coleen will be interviewing, photographing (with a similar camera and glass plate negatives to Curtis) and telling the story of being a Native American in the 21st century. This project will culminate with a coffee table book and a traveling exhibition. The stories they are learning from working on this project are also fascinating and could be a short presentation as well.



With this level you will also get to choose ONE of the photogravures. Which is your favorite?



Pledge $10,000 – Play Hooky with the Graybills


When is the last time you played hooky? Take the day off and meet John and Coleen Graybill, great-grandson of Edward Curtis, for a day of exploring a Curtis exhibition, gallery, library, university, museum near you (continental USA) or just hang out in your living room for the day talking about Curtis! We will share family stories and answer all your Curtis questions!



As a thank you for this tremendous support, we are adding ALL of the reward goodies listed above including giving a presentation to a group of your choice! We just ask that they be scheduled on consecutive days.



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  • John says:

    Thank you to all who helped in supporting this part of our journey, everyone that contributed in their own way made this possible. Whether it was a monetary donation or some other type of donation, we couldn’t have done this without your support.
    Thank you!

  • Jo Spry says:

    We are so excited and can hardly wait until Monday, June 17th for the Kickoff! I have my credit card ready =)

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