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Pigapicha! 100 Years of Studio Photography in Nairobi

Sub-series consists of records related to the exhibition 'Pigapicha! 100 Years of Studio Photography in Nairobi,' which was on display at the Museum of Anthropology from November 25, 2014 - April 5, 2015. Porto was the Curatorial Liaison for this exhibition, which was curated by Katharine Greven and first displayed at the Nairobi National Museum in 2009.

The exhibition was described on the Museum of Anthropology's website as follows:

"MOA takes a profound look at Kenya’s popular culture through an illuminating collection of studio photography, from the 1910s to the present day, in the North American premiere of Pigapicha!, November 25, 2014 through April 5, 2015. Including more than180 photographs spanning a century, this deeply moving exhibition showcases portraits that are carefully staged in the studio as well as those quickly taken on the streets of Nairobi. The exhibition documents the customs of modern Kenyan urban culture while supporting an East African history of photography.

“MOA has always served as a forum for cultivating an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of world arts and cultures traditions,” explains Nuno Porto, Curatorial Liaison for Pigapicha! at MOA. “This Canadian premiere exhibition aligns with MOA’s mission through a comprehensive examination of studio photography in East Africa, incorporating works from all backgrounds – as opposed to similar projects which have focused on Kenya’s booming middle-class.”

Curator and professional photographer Katharina Greven, formerly of the Goethe-Institut in Kenya, partnered with more than 30 photography studios in Nairobi and consulted with photographers, studio operators, artists, bloggers, journalists, and cultural scientists to curate this diverse collection of portraits – a subtle balance between the fine arts and the rich, distinct flavors of East African popular culture.

'A highly-regarded art form in Nairobi, portrait photography is used to tell stories, share social status, and transform everyday life,' says Curator Katharina Greven. 'More than a direct reflection of the individual, these self portraits highlight and amplify desirable features to create an illusion of the idyllic self. In the past 15 years, studio photography has experienced an unfortunate decline in popularity – likely a direct result of cameras, now commonplace on mobile phones. For this reason, Pigapicha! serves to recognize and preserve portrait photography as a significant art form and thus connect us to the significant history of urban Kenya before it is lost.'

Pigapicha! – which literally translates as “take my picture!” – will include more than 180 images ranging from carefully staged artistic prints, to passport photos, to pictures snapped hastily on the streets of Nairobi. Judiciously arranged into six thematic groups –Uzee na Busara (Age and Wisdom), I and Me, Open Air, Imaginary ‘Safari’, Speaking from Yesterday and Intimacy – each image will offer a unique stance on the attitudes, beliefs, and customs of generations of Nairobi citizens.

Born from the cooperative efforts of Iwalewa Haus and the DEVA-Archive, both with the University of Bayreuth, and the Goethe-Institut in Nairobi, this exhibition opening at MOA will mark the first time this powerful collection has been displayed for a North American audience. First presented in 2009 at the Nairobi National Museum, Pigapicha! has since been exhibited in 2011 at Iwalewa Haus in Bayreuth, Germany and in 2013 at the Forum des Arts et de la Culture in Bordeaux, France."

Nuno Porto

Kesu': The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer

The records in this sub-series relate to the development and implementation of the exhibition curated by Jennifer Kramer titled Kesu': The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer. Records in the sub-series also relate to the development and publication of Kesu': The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer, authored by Jennifer Kramer and published in 2012 by Douglas & McIntyre. The exhibition featured the artwork of Doug Cranmer (1927-2006), a leading practitioner of Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’wakw art. Kesu' took place at the Museum of Anthropology from March 17 to September 3, 2012, the Museum at Campbell River in Campbell River, BC from October 19, 2010 to February 17, 2013 and the U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, BC from May 11 to October 8, 2013. Kramer received the 2012 British Columbia Museums Association's Museums in Motion Award of Merit for the exhibition. The book designer Jessica Sullivan received the 2012 Alcuin Society's award for First Place in the pictorial category.

Files in the sub-series consist of exhibition and publication planning notes and related correspondence, research materials pertaining to the career and life of Doug Cranmer, interview transcripts, photographs, funding proposals, object loan agreement forms, photography permission agreements, interview release forms, contracts and financial records, marketing plans, book drafts, exhibit text and labels, promotional materials and printouts of digital photographs of art work.

Don Bain Massive Carvings Documentation Project

Subseries consists of records collected or created by Don Bain during the course of his Massive Carvings Documentation Project. This project took place in the early to mid 1990s. The Massive Carvings Documentation Project was intended to compile information directly related to the poles and massive carvings in the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) collection into a set of Totem Pole Files. The Totem Pole Files were intended to be accessible to MOA staff, volunteers, students, and the general public. The subseries is divided into two sub subseries:

a. Totem pole files
b. Working files

Lecture notes

Sub-series consists of papers relating to anthropology lectures given by Duff at the University of British Columbia. The records include handwritten and typed lecture notes, course outlines, course plans, examination questions, maps and drawings, and correspondence. There are also a few student essays relating to the subject matter of the lectures.

General notes

Sub-series consists of records created and collected by Duff for his lectures including handwritten and typed notes, articles, and reports on a variety of subjects.

Reference materials

Sub-series consists of articles, reprints, and Photostats collected by Duff for his Anthropology lectures at the University of British Columbia.

Vancouver City Museum consultancy

Sub-series consists of textual records relating to Duff's work for the Vancouver Centennial Museum as a member of the Professional Advisory Committee and as a consultant curator for a display in the Vancouver Centennial Museum at its opening. Documents include policy drafts for the museum, minutes of meetings, correspondence and notes.

Department of Anthropology and Sociology Museum Program Committee

Sub-series consists of textual records kept by Duff as the Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology Museum Program committee. Includes reports, correspondence, sample architectural renderings and four white prints of the Museum of Anthropology Phase 3, dated January 1975.

Good student papers

Sub-series consists of term papers and essays written by Duff's students, mainly for Anthropology 301. The majority of the papers are the original copy.

Photographs and negatives

Sub-series consists of photographs and negatives of various artifacts, events and people. It is assumed that most were taken by Duff, although some are identified as acquired by others. Includes views of boxes and chests; plates, dishes and spoons; figures and groups; chiefs' seats and copper; frontlets, masks, rattles; housefronts and house posts; mortuaries; canes; canoes and paddles; panel pipes; Chilkat blanket and tunic; skin robe; slate objects; Raven Screen details; potlatch; picnic; and scenery.

Slides

Slides of artifacts, places, events, exhibits, air views, and unknown First Nations people. Also included are slides relating to museum history which show images of sketches and models for the new Museum of Anthropology, construction views, totem pole raising, the museum opening in 1976, and museum staff. Most of the slides were taken by Duff, although some were acquired from others or purchased. Accompanying textual material includes a letter about artifacts, slide lists from boxes, lists related to the centennial totem pole program, and a text of legends.

Binder photographs

Sub-series consists of photographs, negatives, photocopies, postcards, cut-outs, drawings, and rubbings acquired by Duff. Images consist of views of wooden and panel pipes; boxes and chests; dishes, bowls, plates, spoons, and other household articles; coppers; chief’s seats; coffins; carvings and poles; cloaks and blankets; bracelets; screens; masks and frontlets; paddles and canoes; and photos of Albert Edenshaw. Also included are textual records that describe the images.

Photographs II

Photographs depicting images of native masks, rattles, carved sticks, bowls, knives, wooden boxes, spoons, woven blankets, baskets, clothing and metal jewelry. Also included are photographs of totem poles.

Photographs and pictrostats I

Photographs, pictrostats and negatives showing images of canoes, fishing, coastal villages, and people. Some of the photographs were taken by Duff (as noted on the verso of the image) and brief descriptions and locations are noted on some of the photographs. Specified locations include Victoria, Alaska, Bella Coola and the B.C. coast. Also included in many of the files are faded black and white photocopies of the photographs.

Photographs from Barbeau’s “Totem Poles” and other images

Primarily photographs used in Marius Barbeau’s book “Totem Poles” (Vols. 1 and 2), published in 1950 -1951. Although these are copies of published images, they have been retained for reference purposes. The sub-series also contains some unidentified photographs. These photographs were accessioned into the fonds in 2002. It is unclear how Duff acquired these photographs.

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