42. The Arts-Indian Opera
Edward Curtis—Indian Picture Opera
Shows related to the Arts accounted for about 15 percent of lantern productions. Edward Curtis was one of America’s foremost art photographers. He spent 20 years collecting 2,400 images of Indians in the US and Canada, like the dramatic photograph shown here.
During 1911-1912 he gave performances that mixed lantern slides of his images with movies, accompanied by a live orchestra. He sometimes called his production The Indian Picture Opera. The program shown, The Intimate Story of Indian Tribal Life, is for Curtis’s Nov. 18, 1911 performance at the Academy of Music in New York, which seats 4,000 people. See a portion of a recreated Curtis show here.
A number of American Indians also gave shows about their own heritage. Red Fox offers a program “showing the various tribes in their quaint costumes, in the intimity [sic] of their home life in the great west.”