Title and statement of responsibility area
David Cunningham fonds
General material designation
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Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of fonds.
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Edition statement of responsibility
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Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
[19-?] - 2014, predominant 1990 - 2014 (Creation)
- David Cunningham
Physical description area
2.25 m of textual records and other material
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Archival description area
Name of creator
David Dunnett Cunningham held the position of Projects Manager -Design, Exhibitions, and Facility Planning at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA) since 1988. In 2006 he was made Renewal Building Lead. In 2009 he was designated Manager, Design/Production/Renewal Building Lead. In 2010, Cunningham returned to his design role. His education includes undergraduate studies in Engineering and Geography, and graduate studies in Industrial Design at the University of Calgary, as well as technical training in cabinet making and photography.
Cunningham was responsible for managing all aspects of exhibition production at the Museum of Anthropology. This included the conceptualization and implementation of two and three-dimensional exhibits, long-term collection installations, signage, and other visual presentations. He directed and guided the design, production and installation of exhibits; provided cost estimates and production budgets; and prepared drawings, specifications and tender documents for exhibit installations, furniture, and modifications. Cunningham’s responsibilities also included the overall management of the museum as a member of the Executive Ways and Means Committee, Teaching and Curriculum Committee, Renewal Team, Building Team, and Research Centre Working Group; and facility-planning management, through liaison with the architect and the university for gallery and building renovation, and expansion plans. In this latter capacity, he was involved with renovations and modifications to Galleries 5 and 10, the Theatre, the Ethnology Lab, and the MOA renewal project.
He also taught exhibit design and museum architecture to undergraduate and graduate students in UBC’s Department of Anthropology. Course instruction included Anthropology 431 and 432. Working with the Museum’s collections and existing exhibits, course assignments included design and installation of small displays in node and other cases in Museum’s galleries.
Cunningham has been involved with the production of many exhibits, including A Rare Flower: A Century of Cantonese Opera in Canada (1993-95), which also travelled to Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Manitoba, and Montreal, The Abstract Edge: Recent Works by Robert Davidson (2004-2005), and Mehodihi: Well-Known Traditions of Tahltan People (2003-2005), among others. He has received awards from the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) relating to his work at the Museum, for Facility and Exhibition Design (1999), and for Outstanding Achievement in the Museum Management Category (1997). He has also published articles relating to his work.
Cunningham retired form the museum in 2015.
Scope and content
The fonds reflects Cunningham’s function as Manager, Design/Exhibits for MOA; his role in MOA facility planning and renovations; his position as an instructor in the Department of Anthropology at UBC; and involvement in other projects for MOA and external organizations. The records are arranged in the following series:
- Education records (1988 - [ca. 2004])
- Exhibit records (1987 - 2005)
- Renovation records ([19-?] - 2014)
- Miscellaneous project records (1987 - 2002)
- CFI Partnership of peoples project (1990 - )
- Photographs (1990 - )
The records include artists’ statements and artwork; banners; blueline prints; calligraphy; case lists; contact prints/proofs; contracts; correspondence; diagrams; exhibition catalogues; exhibition panels; exhibition proposals; exhibition text; guidelines; invitations; labels; lecture notes; loan agreements; manuals; measurements; memoranda; minutes; negatives; object lists; photographs; plans; policies; reports; syllabi; and tender drawings.
Immediate source of acquisition
The first accrual of boxes, binders and oversize records was transferred from Cunningham’s office to the archives in January 2000. Cunningham has made subsequent transfers, and materials found in the archives backlog have also been added to the fonds.
There was some original order to the records, now lost due to access by other users prior to transfer. The archivist has reorganized the records based on the perception of Cunningham’s use of them, his functions within MOA, and the contents of the records.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Access to some files may be restricted under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Please consult archivist.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Copyright for designs produced by David Cunningham in his capacity as projects manager are held by the museum. MOA does not hold copyright for non-MOA publications and artists’ works.
Generated finding aid
Additional digital records from this fonds are still being processed and so have not yet been added to the file list.
Material includes video cassettes and discs, architectural drawings, photographs, slides, negatives, graphic material, and digital records. Architectural drawings include preliminary sketches for installations and furniture, such as cases, as well as blueprints, plans and tender drawings for renovations; graphic material includes colour photographs, contact prints, colour and black and white transparencies, colour and black and white photocopies of artwork, and negatives. Architectural drawings and graphic materials are of various dimensions, and are found rolled and interfiled with textual records, as well as in map cabinets.
Standard number area
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Rules or conventions
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Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Revised February and July 2016 by Katie Ferrante
Revised March 2015 by Elizabeth McManus
Revised January 2011 by Sarah Rathjen
Revised July 2010 by Jen Stevenson-Zerkee
Revised June 2003
Lara Wilson, April 2000