The Arizona State Museum’s 2014 show “Regarding Curtis: Contemporary Indian Artists Respond to the Curtis Imagery,” featured the work of established Native artists. Accompanying that exhibit was “Photo ID: Portraits by Native Youth,” a photography project by Tohono O’odham students from Ha:san Preparatory and Leadership School. Working in teams, students took on the roles of photographer, director, and lighting technician to create three portraits—one wrapped in blankets and shawls like Curtis’ subjects; another holding a Curtis photograph they had researched, and a third in a way they chose to present themselves.
The students offered this description of the concept, addressed directly to Curtis himself:
“Those are some beautiful pictures you took of my ancestors and while the portraits you took are lovely, here is our response to what you inspired.”