Edward Curtis was born in 1868 near Whitewater, Wisconsin. Curtis moved to Seattle, Washington in 1887 and worked as a photographer and ethnologist focusing on the American West and on Native American people. Curtis established himself as Seattle’s foremost studio photographer by 1896, and this success gave him a newfound level of financial freedom that allowed him to spend time away from the studio to pursue his love of the great outdoors and the study of Native American cultures.