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FA-55803-11

Robert J. Foster
University of Rochester (Rochester, NY 14627-0001)
A Cultural Biography of the P. G. Black Collection of Pacific Islands Artifacts

The Buffalo Museum of Science holds the oldest collection in North America of Pacific Islands artifacts put together by a single person. I propose to write a scholarly book that puts the P.G. Black collection in the economic, political and cultural contexts of its creation, purchase, and display. For example, the collection provides important clues about initial encounters between Pacific Islanders and European traders, missionaries, and colonial officials; and display of objects from the collection at museum exhibits in the 1940s promoted acceptance of the idea of primitive art in the U.S. I also propose to write a brief nonacademic text that will support traveling and online virtual exhibits of the Black collection and that will interpret particular artifacts for the general public--including the general public in the Pacific Islands where the collection originated. The overall goal of the project is to make the Black collection an accessible resource for a large and broad audience.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Anthropology

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2011 – 6/30/2012