Pulitzer Prize-winning author to speak at Whatcom Museum

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Timothy Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of “The Worst Hard Time,” will visit the Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham on April 27 to discuss his book about American icon, Edward S. Curtis.

Egan’s 2012 book, “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher,” details the life of Curtis, who is currently the subject of an exhibit at the Whatcom Museum. Curtis, whom Egan describes as “Indiana Jones with a camera,” was a prominent photographer in the early 1900s.

In 1906, famed industrialist J.P. Morgan hired Curtis to go on a 20-year journey across the United States to document more than 80 Native American tribes for a book series. Over the course of his studies, Curtis took more than 40,000 photos and grew from an objective observer into a passionate advocate
for Native rights.

The Whatcom Museum currently has 40 original Curtis photos on display, part of their exhibit “Mingled Visions: Images from the North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis.” Several of the works on display feature prominent Native American figures from the Pacific Northwest, including early images of the daughter of Chief Sealth, more commonly known as Chief Seattle. The exhibit opened in February and will close May 10.

Egan will speak about the impact Curtis’ work has had on American culture and read excerpts from his book. Egan will sign copies of the book after the event. The lecture is free to attend, and will begin at 7 p.m. at the Mount Baker Theatre.

For more information, visit whatcommuseum.org.

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