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Products for grant FA-55803-11

FA-55803-11
A Cultural Biography of the P. G. Black Collection of Pacific Islands Artifacts
Robert Foster, University of Rochester

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FA-55803-11

Notes For A Networked Biography: The P.G.T. Black Collection of Oceanic Things (Article)
Title: Notes For A Networked Biography: The P.G.T. Black Collection of Oceanic Things
Author: Robert J. Foster
Abstract: In 1938, the Buffalo Museum of Science acquired some 62 hundred objects collected between 1886 and 1916 by and for P. G. Black, a branch inspector for Burns, Philp & Company Ltd., the famous Sydney-based mercantile and shipping firm. Despite the collection's size, breadth, and significance as a product of the colonial encounter in northern Australia and Melanesia, its history is still largely unrecorded. This article begins to trace the social life of the collection by narrating a formative moment in its biography: the period of Burns, Philp's expansion into the southwest Pacific during which Black assembled the collection. It also identifies two other moments: the years after Black's death in 1921 when the overseas purchase of the collection was decried in Australian newspapers and the years after the collection came to Buffalo when objects were loaned for display at American fine arts museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. At these particular biographical moments, objects in the collection were differently construed as native curios and ethnological specimens, national patrimony, and primitive art. This article advances a trend of recent scholarship in anthropology and museology by foregrounding the historical circumstances and social relations that condition the appropriation of objects. [Buffalo Museum of Science, P. G. T. Black Collection, Oceania, Australian Museum, art/artifact, object biography, national patrimony]
Year: 2012
Primary URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1548-1379.2012.01129.x/abstract
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Museum Anthropology
Publisher: American Anthropological Association

Materializing the Nation: Commodities, Consumption, and Media in Papua New Guinea (Book)
Title: Materializing the Nation: Commodities, Consumption, and Media in Papua New Guinea
Author: Foster, Robert J.
Year: 2002
Primary URL: http://www.worldcat.org/isbn//9780253341471
Primary URL Description: WorldCat entry
Publisher: Bloomington: Indiana University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780253341471

Art, Artifact, Commodity: Perspectives on the P.G.T. Black Collection (Book)
Title: Art, Artifact, Commodity: Perspectives on the P.G.T. Black Collection
Editor: Robert J. Foster
Editor: Kathryn H. Leacock
Abstract: The P.G.T. Black Collection is one of the oldest and largest collections of material culture from the western Pacific Islands (Melanesia) made by a single person. For the first time, an international group of scholars investigates the circumstances under which the Black Collection was assembled between 1886 and 1916, and transferred from Australia to the Buffalo Museum of Science (BMS) in 1938. Objects from the collection have been displayed not only at the BMS, but also at other leading museums in the United States. The volume explains and explores how things in the collection have been and can be valued--sometimes in competing and contradictory ways--as fine art, ethnographic artifacts, and commodities to be exchanged.
Year: 2017
Publisher: Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences
Type: Edited Volume
ISBN: 978-0-944032-0
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes


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