SCARCE COLLECTION OF ELEVEN MOUNTED VINTAGE PRINTS, PHOTOGRAPHER GEORGE CANTWELL'S TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY SERIES ON THE PUYALLUP TRIBAL PEOPLE OF WASHINGTON STATE
CANTWELL, George. Photograph Collection. Puyallup Indians. Everett, Washington, circa 1903. Eleven prints. Vintage brown-toned prints (ten prints measuring 6 by 8 inches; one oval print measuring 5-1/2 by 8 inches), each mounted on black card stock, total measuring 9 by 11 inches. $4500.
Collection of eleven vintage brown-toned prints of Washington State's Puyallup tribal people, seen at the turn-of-the-century in an exceptional series by western photographer George Cantwell, with each print captioned in the negative and mounted on distinctive "Cantwell" studio card stock.
Photographer George Cantwell worked in the Klondike during the 1890s Gold Rush before settling near Puyallup, then Everett, Washington around 1901. At this time he began photographing the tribal people known as the Puyallup Indians. After leaving the Puget Sound region in the 1920s, Cangtwell moved to California where he worked for the Los Angeles County Museum for over a decade. These eleven vintage prints of a nearly devastated people begins with Cantwell's series on an elderly chief: one titled "Chief Johnnie of the Puyallups," another depicting the chief with his canoe "On the Banks of the Puyallup," and two prints of the chief with elderly women: "Siwash Cooking" and "Siwash at Home." Other images include that of an elderly woodcarver, "The Old Totem Maker"; one of children seated outside a ragged tent home, "Five Little Injuns"; one of a woman fieldworker, "Siwash Hop Picker," and one of a woman seated on a bench next to three beautiful handmade baskets, titled "An Indian Maiden." The final three prints in the collection are studio portraits: one of two seated women, "Siwash Basket Makers"; another of the women standing, "Limping Liz and Gumboot Kitty," and the elegant oval portrait of a "Siwash Mother & Papoose." The Puyallup's tribal name of "spwiya'laphabsh" is shortened in Cantwell's in-negative captions to a common pejorative of "siwash." Each vintage brown-toned print captioned in the lower corner of the image, and mounted on heavy black card stock containing the embossed logo "Cantwell, Everett, WN" in lower corner.
Prints fresh and bright, handsomely mounted. An outstanding turn-of-the-century photographic series in about-fine condition.