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Archival description
Sub-séries Museum of Anthropology
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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.

Robert Davidson: “The Abstract Edge”

The records in this sub-series relate to the development and implementation of the Robert Davidson exhibition The Abstract Edge at MOA. The Abstract Edge opened at the Museum of Anthropology on June 22nd, 2004 through January 30th 2005. The Abstract Edge then went on a cross-Canadian tour from 2005-2007, which was sponsored by the National Gallery of Canada.

Files consist of exhibition planning notes, research, reporting, grant applications, contracts, correspondences, event planning, articles and publications, and transcripts. Additionally, some files in the series also relate to the publication for the exhibition which Duffek wrote in conjunction with Robert Houle. Most of the photographic transparencies were taken for publication images. Other files relate to Robert Davidson in general, such as transcripts of interviews, public lectures, and past exhibitions.

Visible Storage

This subseries includes materials used in the planning of the exhibit case layout and case design, including Earthquake Mitigation. The planning involved considering innovative ways to use museum space, safety and conservation of the collection materials as well as the enjoyment and interaction with the public. The subseries includes videotapes pertaining to earthquake mitigation. Areas of focus include tests of the current visible storage cases using dental wax, nylon microfilament and securing mechanisms. Records include 4 videocassettes.


This subseries relates to various tasks Ruus carried out for the museum. Records touch on such subjects as documentation of the transfer of the museums collection to its current facility, inventory information, some preservation/conservation tasks and design issues. Records in this series consist of slides, notes, memoranda, and correspondence.

Inge Ruus

The Spirit of Tibet

The records in this subseries relate to an exhibit that was developed by MOA in conjunction with the Tibetan Cultural Society, the Canada Tibet Committee, and Women Working for a Free Tibet. Subseries consists of 1 file of correspondence, memos and exhibit labels.

Elizabeth Lominska Johnson

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

The Spirit of Islam: Experiencing Islam through Calligraphy

Subseries consists of records relating to the “Spirit of Islam: Experiencing Islam through Calligraphy” exhibit installed at the Museum of Anthropology. The exhibit is a collaborative work with local Muslim community members. The intent of the exhibition is to promote cultural diversity and to illustrate Islam as a way of life. The exhibition opened in October 2001, and continued until May 2002. In his capacity as Designer, Skooker Broome worked on the planning, designing, and installation of the exhibit. Not only did he work on the exhibit, he also participated in the launching of the “Spirit of Islam” educational website. Funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the website includes images, text, audio, and video from the original exhibition. Records in the subseries include: correspondence, contact lists, exhibition records, draft proposals and proposal, budgets, artifact lists, program planning worksheets, committee reports and drafts, agendas, grant applications, programming planning worksheets, minutes of meetings, loan condition and agreement forms, statements of agreements, exhibition diagrams and plans, exhibition design and art work, exhibit panel information and labeling designs, exhibit flyers and design layouts, photocopies of business cards and business cards, press releases, negatives, drafts of catalogue, notes, policy records, publications, exhibit sketches, letterhead samples, typeface samples, Islamic script samples, exhibition invitation cards, computer renderings of the exhibition layout and design, fundraising records, and product brochures and price lists. Textual records also include annotations on “Post-It Notes.” All records relate to aspects of planning, creating, or installing of the exhibit.

Exhibit A: Objects of Intrigue

Subseries consists of records relating to the exhibit “Exhibit A: Objects of Intrigue.” In 1999, the Museum of Anthropology celebrated its 50th anniversary. To mark this important milestone, the Museum opens “Exhibit A: Objects of Intrigue” in Gallery 5. This exhibit and accompanying publication “50/50 Fifty choices, Fifty Years,” highlights the museum’s diverse collections through objects selected by artists, staff, and friends connected to the museum over the years. This was the first exhibit to be designed entirely on computer. From the initial layout of components to the final production of exhibit labels and visual materials, the exhibit design was developed and managed electronically. Skooker Broome utilized the Mini-CAD program to plan for the exhibit design, layout, and fabrication of exhibit components. Records include: correspondence, design specifications, design notes, donor lists, computer renderings, drafts of computer layouts and designs for announcements, drafts and originals of computer layouts and designs, drafts and originals of computer layouts and designs for labels and didactic panels, artifact lists, exhibit object summaries, reports, object accessioning records, fundraising records, documents outlining the content and context of the exhibit, conservation documents, budgets, business cards, scholarly articles, contact lists, invoices, and phone lists.

Robes of power: Totem poles on cloth

Subseries contain the images used in the booklet Robes of Power: Totem Poles on Cloth written by Doreen Jensen and Polly Sargent, as well as a copy of the booklet. In addition, there are images of a children's workshop that took place during the exhibit at the Museum of Anthropology.

Edgar Heap of Birds: “Wheel: Overlays”

The records in this sub-series relate to the artist Edgar Heap of Birds and the 2007 MOA exhibition Wheel: Overlays. An Installation by Hock E Aye VI, Edgar Heap of Birds. Sub-series consists of 4 files which relate to research and planning for the exhibition in addition to the Native Youth Project done in conjunction with the exhibition. The files consist of photographs, promotional materials, final reports, grant applications, exhibit development and educational materials, final reporting, research notes, correspondences, as well as articles about the exhibit and the artist.

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