Although born in Europe, the daguerreotype was extremely popular in the United States—especially in New York City, where in the late 1850s hundreds of daguerreotypists vied for clients.
The most successful artists built lavish portrait studios on the upper floors of buildings on and just off Broadway, and in other major American cities from Boston to San Francisco.
Curtis caption: This picture was made in the heart of the Bad Lands of South Dakota.
The subject is the sub-chief Red Hawk, a sketch of whose life is given on page 188 of Volume III. Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) came to prominence as a photographer of Native Americans during a time when Indian tribes were being forced onto reservations and their children were being sent off to boarding schools to “assimilate” them into American life.
The Boston partnership produced among the finest portrait daguerreotypes in America for leading political, intellectual, and artistic figures, from Daniel Webster (37.14.2) to Harriet Beecher Stowe (). A skilled daguerreotypist, he learned the technical aspects of the process from the American pioneers of the medium, Samuel Morse and John Draper.