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Subseries Museum exhibitions
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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.

Cowichan Indian knitting

Subseries consists of images used in the book Cowichan Indian Knitting and textual records relating to the production of the book. In addition are the images used in the exhibit which was shown in the Museum of Anthropology September 23 – November 9, 1986.

File 1: Images used in booklet
File 2: Images used in exhibit
File 3: Images of the exhibit

Hands of our ancestors

Subseries contains images used in a a publication titled Hands of Our Ancestors: The Revival of Salish Weaving at Musqueam written by Elizabeth Johnson and Kathryn Bernick as well as the publication itself. This publication is part of the Museum Notes program at the Museum of Anthropology.

File 1 - 3: [Photographs ]
File 4: [Transparencies, negatives]
File 5:[Book]
File 6: [Draft of book]
File 7: [Photographs]

Anonymous beauty

This subseries contains images shown in the exhibit <i>Anonymous Beauty</i> curated by Miriam Clavir. This exhibit was on the Japanese handmade paper collection housed at MOA. In addition are 4 transparencies of the exhibit text.

Chronicles of pride

Subseries consists of images taken in the great hall at the Museum of Anthropology showing an exhibit titled Chronicles of Pride. Patricia Richardson Logie participated as an artist showing her portrait of Blanche MacDonald.

Museum quality

Subseries consists of images showing objects exhibited during the exhibit titled Museum Quality. This exhibit was purchased for the Museum’s permanent collection by the Anthropology Shop Volunteers. Photographs were taken by Moya Waters.

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