As a record of American Indian life, the work of Edward Curtis (1868-1952) is unsurpassed in scope and ambition. The Wisconsin native spent decades photographing more than 80 tribes, capturing their music and voices on wax-cylinder recordings, and documenting their lifestyles and beliefs.

In "Beauty Heart and Spirit: The Sacred Legacy of Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian," the largest Curtis show in the Twin Cities in 25 years, more than 50 of Curtis' sepia-toned Indian images will be at the Minneapolis Central Library along with correspondence, a portfolio from his magnum opus, and vintage and contemporary books about Curtis.

Most of the images are modern prints issued by Twin Cities collector Christopher Cardozo from Curtis' original glass-plate negatives or are photogravure reproductions using antique printing processes he employed. Cardozo will introduce the show in a free lecture in the library's Pohlad Hall at 7 p.m. Nov. 1; the exhibition will be open for preview from 6 to 8 p.m. that evening. Master printers Peter Bernardy and Brad Miller will discuss Curtis' photographic processes at 6 p.m. Nov. 15.

Opens Nov. 2. Free. Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. Ends Jan. 6. 612-543-8000 or