Into the Woods: The Anthropologist, the Archives and the Historian

Ann Plane

Bird skin, Frank Speck Papers, Box 1, Folder 12, Phillips Library.

Bird skin, Frank Speck Papers, Box 1, Folder 12, Phillips Library.

Most archival work is pretty predictable—the usual mix of letters, sketches, and other paper-based materials. It’s not every day that you page up a box, open up a folder, unfold the notebook in the folder, and find a songbird skin. Throughout my summer as a Malamy Fellow, I found all manner of interesting things while combing through the materials that make up the manuscript collections of Frank G. Speck at the Phillips Library.  The bird skin looked a little the worse for the wear, but there it sat, feathers and all, nestled among field notes, correspondence, photographs, maps, and much more.[1] Read more

Benton Painting Native Americans

Dinah Cardin

Thomas Hart Benton, The Lost Hunting Ground, 1927-28. From the mural series American Historical Epic, 1920-28. Oil on canvas, 60 1/4 x 42 1/8 in. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Bequest of the artist. Photo by Jamison Miller. © Benton Testamentary Trusts/UMB Bank Trustee/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

The following is a condensed and edited conversation that took place inside the galleries of PEM’s American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood exhibition Thursday, August 6 with PEM’s Curator of American Art Austen Barron Bailly, Curator of Native American Art Karen Kramer and those who participated in the museum’s summer fellowship program for Native Americans pursuing professional museum studies. The 2015 fellows are: Halena Kapuni-Reynolds, Alex Nahwegabow, Ashley Tsosie-Mahieu and Jordan Dresser. The Benton exhibition closes September 7. Read more