March 10 Visualizing Literature
Book Club for Art Lovers
10:30 am - noon

Visualizing Literature: Book Club for Art Lovers explores connections between the literary and visual arts through moderated book discussions and guided gallery tours led by experienced Joslyn docents. All book discussions begin in the Omaha Steaks Conference Room and conclude in the galleries where participants discover thematic links between the selected book and Joslyn's rich works of artworks on display.

The novel Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher was chosen to coincide with the special exhibition Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Photography on view February 8 - May 10, 2020.

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis
by Timothy Egan

“This is a riveting biography of an American original.”
-Boston Globe

Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.

An Indiana Jones with a camera, Curtis spent the next three decades traveling from the Havasupai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the Acoma on a high mesa in New Mexico to the Salish in the rugged Northwest rain forest, documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. It took tremendous perseverance — ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Eventually Curtis took more than 40,000 photographs, preserved 10,000 audio recordings, and is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian.

His most powerful backer was Theodore Roosevelt, and his patron was J. P. Morgan. Despite the friends in high places, he was always broke and often disparaged as an upstart in pursuit of an impossible dream. In the end he fulfilled his promise: He made the Indians live forever.

Visualizing Literature is open to anyone interested in art and literature. Free for Joslyn members and Passport Partner (UNMC) members; $10 for General Public (includes Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Photography admission); $5 College Students with ID (UNMC students free). Reservations are required; please CLICK HERE to register. Walk-ins admitted as space permits. For details, contact Susie Severson, Director of Adult Programs, at (402) 661-3862 or

Books may be available for purchase in Joslyn's Hitchcock Museum Shop. For details, please contact Joslyn's Director of Adult Programs at (402) 661-3862 or by email.

Visualizing Literature is presented in partnership with UNMC's Passport Partners program.

Mark your calendars for the next installment of Visualizing Literature on May 12, 2020 when we examine the book, Think Like and Artist: and Lead a More Creative, Productive Life by Will Gompertz