In recent years, with the resurgence in interest in Curtis’ work, several sources have emerged producing copies of Curtis’ photographs from the archived collections. The majority of these prints are “one-off” copies using high-quality ink-jet printers.
Unlike these ink-jet and toner-based copies, the lithographs in The Rainier Club Collection and Centennial Series are printed on acid-free, museum-quality paper with fast drying UV inks. While the “sepia-toned” ink-jet copies provide “pleasing” reproductions, often the colors vary greatly from Curtis’ originals. The lithographs in The Rainier Club Collection have been individually color matched to Curtis’ originals by master color separation craftsmen. This makes these lithographic prints unlike any other available.
The twenty lithographic prints included in The Rainier Club Collection of Edward S. Curtis Photographs have been selected from the Curtis photographs and photogravures on display in the hallways, dining and meeting rooms of The Rainier Club in Seattle, Washington. To obtain the highest image quality, 8” x 10” photographic prints and copy negatives of the selected images were purchased from The Library of Congress and, for selected images, high-resolution digital photographs were taken of Curtis’ 1914 original photogravures in the private collection of the law firm of Stoel Rives, LLP.
With the goal of faithfully reproducing the intense detail of Curtis’ originals, Rainier Color Inc., Seattle, WA, was selected to accurately capture the integrity of his photographic genius. The images were individually scanned and color separated on a Heidelberg D 7100 drum scanner. When this process was completed, the images were converted to tri-tones, and proofed on a calibrated color-matched Kodak Approval system until both the ION Corporation and Rainier Color team members were satisfied that the reproduction acuity matched the tonal quality of the originals produced by Curtis during the period 1904 to 1914. To assure the highest quality final lithographic prints, the master craftsmen at Rainier Color then used a Komori Lithrone 8-color UV 40” press to produce the prints on an acid-free, archival-quality Weyerhaeuser 80# & 100# Cougar Natural White Cover weight paper stock.
The images in this collection have been produced in two sizes: The “Centennial Edition” prints are sized to match Curtis’ photogravures. They are trimmed to 15” x 19” with image areas approximately 11” x 15”. The image detail, color and size of the “Centennial Edition” lithographs are faithful in every regard to Curtis’ originals. For individuals more interested in a smaller size, a “Souvenir Edition” was also produced. The lithographs in this edition are trimmed to 9” x 11” with image areas of approximately 5” x 7.”