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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

North American Indian Technology

Series contains Stewart's first book, unpublished, from 1963. It is based on lectures at the University of British Columbia. Includes a note about the creation of the book that Stewart added in 2005.

2010 Olympics Aboriginal Art Program

Subseries consists of information provided by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games held in Vancouver regarding an Aboriginal Arts Program for the Olympics. The package includes background information about the program and application information for those wishing to apply.

Scrapbooks

Subseries consists of records compiled by Sawyer on various Northwest coast artifacts in a number of scrapbooks. Graphic materials include photographs and postcards depicting items such as weavings, masks, totem poles, villages, and other artifacts. Some of the photographs contain information about the artifact being depicted, such as the First Nation community that created the artifact, the date of the artifact’s creation, the museum and/or location that the artifact is located in, and/or the dimensions of the artifact. Textual materials include newspaper and magazine clippings, museum brochures, and drawings of artifacts.

ref # 13-1-B

Alan R. Sawyer

Furniture and fit up

Sub-series contains documents related to lighting, furniture, fit-ups, and equipment that was part of the MOA renewal process.

Conservation Records

Subseries consists of records related to conservation issues that Miriam Clavir created during her duties and activities as conservator. These include: correspondence, memoranda, photos, conservation reports (including priority reports), and notes related to her laboratory activities in the form of proposals and policy notes, suggested conservation supply stock for the MOA shop, as well as a student’s conservation course paper. Records relating to her conservation internship with the Public Archives of Canada (1982), and her collaborative participation with Virginia Salazar on the International Partnerships Among Museums (IPAM) report on museum conservation (1991-1992) are also included.

Community courses

Subseries contains one file of records pertaining to the creation of a course for First Nation's communities at the Museum of Anthropology.

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