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Alexander Frederick Richmond Wollaston (1875-1930) was a doctor, naturalist, explorer, and member of the Royal Geographical Society in London. A.F.R. Wollaston went on numerous expeditions between 1905-1925, including trips to Uganda, the Congo, Dutch New Guinea, and Mt. Everest. A.F.R. Wollaston was killed on June 3, 1930 at King’s College in Cambridge, England.
- ca. 1897-1963
Abaya Martin was a skilled weaver and source of knowledge on ceremonial lore. She features prominently in an Edward S. Curtis photograph of a Tlingit wedding, where she is the bride. This was her first marriage. Her second marriage was to Chief Mungo Martin. She accompanied Mungo while he was working at the University of British Columbia where she wove two Chilkat blankets for the museum. She lived with Mungo in Victoria where he worked on the longhouse and totem poles for Thunderbird Park. She passed away a year after Mungo's death.
Agnes Alfred (née Agnes Bertha Joe and also known as Axu, Axuw or Axuwaw) was a noble Qwiqwasutinuxw woman from the Kwakwakawakw Nation. She was known in her community as one of the last great storytellers in the classic oral tradition.
Dr. Alan R. Sawyer was born on June 18, 1919, in Wakefield Massachusetts. He completed his undergraduate degree at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, graduating with a Bachelors of Science in 1941, majoring in Geology and minoring in Physics and Chemistry. After the United States joined the Second World War, Sawyer enlisted in the US Army as 1st Lieutenant in 1942. Once the War was over, he separated from the army in 1946. In that same year, Sawyer married Erika Heininger and they later had five children together.
From 1946 to 1948, Sawyer completed his first graduate degree at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. While he studied subjects such as painting, drawing, and art history, Sawyer conducted research in Mayan art. During intersession and summer sessions, Sawyer also took courses in art history and anthropology at the Boston University College of Liberal Arts Graduate School. In 1948, Sawyer began his second graduate degree in art history at Harvard University. He graduated with his Masters in 1949 and although he was recommended as a Ph.D candidate, he did not pursue a doctorate degree.
Upon graduating from Harvard, Sawyer was hired as an instructor for the Art Department at the Texas State College for Women in Denton, Texas where he taught courses in art history and studio art. It was there that Sawyer became interested in pre-Columbian art of the Americas, and he arranged an exhibit of that art from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at the Texas State College.
In 1952, Sawyer was hired as an Assistant to the Curator of Decorative Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago. He later rose to the rank of Curator of Primitive Art in 1956. In that same year, Sawyer became the director of the Park Forest Art Center, a small art museum located in Park Forest, a small town located outside of Chicago. In addition to his roles at the Art Institute and at the Art Center, Sawyer taught courses in primitive art at the University of Chicago and Notre Dame University from 1954-1959.
In 1959, Sawyer became the Director at the Textile Museum in Washington DC, where he stayed until 1971. While there, Sawyer made significant additions to the pre-Columbian textiles collection. In addition to his director role, Sawyer also made several trips to Peru in order to carry out fieldwork assignments, including several aerial surveys and a stratigraphic excavation in the Inca Valley. In 1975, Sawyer became a professor of Indigenous American Art at the University of British Columbia, where he remained until 1985.
In addition to his official roles, Sawyer also participated in several additional professional activities. In 1964, he served as a guide for the Brooklyn Museum Members’ Tour of Archaeological Sites in Peru. From 1964-1968, Sawyer served as the Curator of the Master Craftsmen of Ancient Peru Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. He made several trips to Peru where he selected and negotiated loans for the Ancient Peru Exhibit with the Peruvian government. In 1968-1969, Sawyer taught as an adjunct professor at Columbia University, teaching courses in art and archaeology.
Although his main area of interest lay in Pre-Columbian art, Sawyer became interested in the artifacts and the art of First Nations communities of British Columbia and Alaska, specifically those living on the Northwest Coast. In the late 1970s – early 1980s, Sawyer received a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to discern the provenance of and to determine the approximate dates of undocumented NWC masks and other artifacts housed in museums in North America and in Europe. Sawyer also traveled to several First Nation villages located on British Columbia’s and Alaska’s northwest coast where he photographed the villages’ totem poles and log cabins Although he never published his findings as intended, Sawyer used his large slide collection as a teaching aid in his art classes at UBC.
In 1969, in recognition of Sawyer’s achievements, his alma mater, Bates College, awarded Sawyer a honourary doctorate degree. He died in Vancouver, BC on January 31, 2002.
Alfred Wesley was a First Nations artist. His father was Haida and his mother was Haisla. He spent most of his life in Kitimaat. He learned to carve when he travelled with his family to Haida Gwaii in 1890, where he learned from several local artists. He is best known for his model totem poles.
Allison Cronin holds an BA and MA in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. She worked at MOA from 1989 to 2005 on the following positions:
- Museum Assistant 1989
- Curatorial Assistant from 1989 to 1991
- Assistant Collections Manager from 1990 to 1996
- Manager of Loans and Projects from 1996 to 2003
- Loans Manager from 2004 to 2005
Assistant Director and Department Head (Administration & Outreach), Museum of Anthropology
Anne Melita Williams was a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology.
Anthony A. Kingscote was a photographer.
- 1920 - 1992
Anthony Lawrence Carter, the late author, publisher and photo-journalist, was born on October 22, 1920 in Somerset, England. He and his family emigrated to Wallaceburg, Saskatchewan in 1926 and later moved to Goodsoil, Saskatchewan . The Carter family leased an acre on Lac des Isles where they farmed for a living. In 1938, Carter purchased his first camera and learned how to develop his own pictures using an old developer and instructions from a Kodak booklet. In 1939, he applied to the Royal Canadian Air Force and was accepted a year later. He continued with the RCAF and the British Institute of Sciences and Engineering until he was discharged in 1945. Following his time in the Air Force, Carter held his first public exhibit in Ontario of images he had taken across Canada. He also spent time at the First Nations village in Fort Rupert where he began building a collection of his own photographs of the community. In 1948, Carter began working for MacKenzie Barge & Derrick as a shipwright where he took his first commercial photograph and began selling prints widely. In 1951, he decided to go into child photography, which he did exclusively for three years. Carter was also an active photo-journalist in the marine and logging fields, which led to his contributions to journals such as Western Fisheries, Canadian Truck Logger and The British Motor Journal.
While photography was Carter’s main source of income during the 1950s, he also spent his summers fishing to make a living. Around 1960, Carter purchased a 60 foot fish packer, the Wamega. He was based in Klemtu at this time and collected the history and legends of the Kynoc and Kit-is-tu people, which appeared in his first book. Carter’s publications, which include This is Haida (1969), Somewhere Between (1968), From History's Locker (1968), Wamega (1960s), and Abundant Rivers (1972), were directly inspired by First Nations people and their culture. He also wrote a book called Snowshoeing for Everyone (1975). Carter was a poet and accompanied his photos with his own text. Additionally, he undertook all aspects of designing his books for publication. Carter also worked with the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan to develop its Northwest Coast collection, and was a consultant to the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, B.C.
- [19-?] -
Anthony Shelton served as the Director of the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) from August 2004 through June 2021. A researcher, curator, teacher and administrator, his interests include Latin American, Iberian and African visual cultures, Surrealism, the history of collecting, and critical museology. Before coming to UBC he held curatorial positions at the British Museum, The Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery and Museum’s Brighton, the Horniman Museum, London, and academic appointments at the University of Sussex, University College, London and the University of Coimbra. He has been the Portuguese representative to ASEMUS (Asia-Europe Museums Network), and sat on the international advisory boards for the construction and development of the Humboldt Forum, Berlin and the Asian Cultural Complex, Gwangju.
Dr. Shelton has published extensively in the areas of visual culture, critical museology, history of collecting and various aspects of Mexican cultural history. His works include Art, Anthropology, and Aesthetics (with J. Coote eds. 19, 1992); Museums and Changing Perspectives of Culture (1995); Fetishism: Visualizing Power and Desire (1995); Collectors: Individuals and Institutions (2001); Collectors: Expressions of Self and Others (2001).
Dr. Shelton curated two acclaimed exhibitions at MOA: Luminescence: The Silver of Peru and Heaven, Hell and Somewhere In Between: Portuguese Popular Art. He also launched an award-winning publication series with Figure 1 Publishing, authoring several of its titles, including the recently published Under Different Moons: African Art in Conversation and Theatrum Mundi: Masks and Masquerades in Mexico and the Andes. He helped to expand MOA’s African, European and Latin American collections. He also developed strong relationships with consulates, created an external advisory board, and secured funding for postdoctoral curatorial fellows.
Dr. Shelton received Doctorate and Masters degrees from Oxford University, and a Bachelors degree from the University of Hull.