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Frederick Johnson photograph collection

Creator:
Johnson, Frederick, 1904-1994  Search this
Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation  Search this
Names:
Speck, Frank G. (Frank Gouldsmith), 1881-1950  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Linear feet
450 negatives (photographic) (black and white)
Culture:
Mi'kmaq (Micmac)  Search this
Algonquin [Golden Lake/Pikwàkanagàn First Nation]  Search this
Algonquin [Lac Barriere (Barriere Lake)]  Search this
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (Maniwaki Algonquin) [River Desert]  Search this
Anishinaabe [Parry Island, Ontario]  Search this
Potawatomi [Parry Island, Ontario]  Search this
Innu [Uashat-Maliotenam (Seven Islands)]  Search this
Innu [Mashteuiatsh (Pointe-Bleue, Quebec)]  Search this
Innu [Kiskissink]  Search this
Innu [Pessamit (Betsiamites/Bersimis)]  Search this
Mistassini Cree  Search this
Nanticoke  Search this
Rappahannock  Search this
Mohegan  Search this
Indians of North America  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Negatives (photographic)
Place:
Canada
Quebec
Ontario
Nova Scotia
Newfoundland
Delaware
Date:
1924-1931
Summary:
The Frederick Johnson collection consists of original negatives made from 1924 to 1931 by Johnson primary among the Mi'kmaq, Innu, Algonquin, Potawatomi, Montagnais, Abenaki, Anishinaabe, and Mistassini Cree peoples of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Quebec, Canada. Frederick Johnson began his anthropological studies as a teenager, accompanying anthropologist Frank G. Speck (1881-1951) on trips to Native communities in Eastern Canada. Between 1923 and 1929, Johnson studied at the University of Pennsylvania and conducted several research trips in Canada, some of which were sponsored by the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of original negatives made from 1924 to 1931 by Johnson primary among the Mi'kmaq, Innu, Algonquin, Potawatomi, Montagnais, Abenaki, Anishinaabe, and Mistassini Cree peoples of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Quebec, Canada. The bulk were made among the Mi'kmaq, Innu, and Algonquin peoples in 1925 and from 1927 to 1931. In general, the majority of the Canada materials are informal, outdoor portraits of individuals and groups but they also depict dwellings, the construction of wigwams and birchbark canoes, carving and wood working processes, ceremonials, churches, the process of catching and smoking salmon, and the landscape. In addition there are negatives made in Delaware from 1924 to 1926 of and Nanticoke and Rappahannock. Again, these consist primarily of outdoor, informal portraits of individuals and groups of people.
Arrangement note:
Arranged in three series geographically and chronologically; Series 1: United Sates: Delaware, Nanticoke, 1924-1927; Series 2: Canada: Quebec and Ontario, Various Communities, 1925-1930; Series 3: Canada: Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Mi'kmaq (Micmac), 1930-1931. Series 2 has six subseries organized by community. Negatives are arranged by catalog number within the series or subseries.
Biographical/Historical note:
Born in 1904 in Everett, Massachusetts, Frederick Johnson at an early age displayed an interest in indigenous cultures and an aptitude for indigenous languages. He studied anthropology at Tufts, the University of Massachusetts, and at the University of Pennsylvania, and eventually accompanied anthropologist and mentor Frank G. Speck on several trips throughout the Northeastern United States. Early in his career, Johnson worked with the Algonquin people and from 1917 to 1931 among the Innu, Mi'kmaq, Anishinaabe, and Mistassini Cree communities in Canada. Individuals from these communities noted that Johnson's primarily focus was to listen to elders and their stories. Many of Johnson's research trips during this period were sponsored by the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation (MAI) and Johnson would send collections of ethnographic materials and photographs back to the MAI in New York City. From 1936 to 1967, Johnson was the curator of Harvard's Peabody Museum and subsequently became the Museum's director, a post that he held until his retirement in 1969. Johnson passed away in 1994 in Lowell, Massachusetts.

For more information on Frederick Johnson ethnographic work in Canada see "Frederick Johnson's Canadian Ethnology in the Americanist Tradition" by Marilyn Norcini. Histories of Anthropology Annual, Volume 4, 2008, pp. 106-134.
Related Materials:
Frederick Johnson participated in the 1919 expedition to San Miguel Island (California) with Ralph Glidden, sponsored by the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. Johnson's photographs from that expedition can be found in the Ralph Glidden photograph collection (NMAI.AC.001.028).

A collection of Frederick Johnson's papers and photographs can be found at the Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology.
Separated Materials:
A significant collection of ethnographic materials from Canada accompanied the photographs by Johnson and can be found in NMAI's object collection. To view these objects, or for more information, please contact NMAI Collections or make an appointment through the NMAI website.
Provenance:
The photographs in this collection were sent to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, by Frederick Johnson between 1927-1931 along with his ethnographic field collections.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.

Some images restricted: Cultural Sensitivity
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Frederick Johnson photograph collection, Photo Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.001.038
See more items in:
Frederick Johnson photograph collection
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-001-038
Additional Online Media:

Miniature moccasins

Culture/People:
Innu [Pessamit (Betsiamites/Bersimis)]  Search this
Collector:
William F. Stiles, Non-Indian, 1912-1980  Search this
Object Name:
Miniature moccasins
Media/Materials:
Hide
Techniques:
Dyed
Object Type:
Made-for-Sale items and Souvenirs
Place:
Betsiamites (Bersimis); Côte Nord Region; Québec; Canada
Catalog Number:
22/1177
Barcode:
221177.000
See related items:
Innu [Pessamit (Betsiamites/Bersimis)]
Made-for-Sale items and Souvenirs
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_235199
Additional Online Media:

Doll's cap/hat

Culture/People:
Innu [Pessamit (Betsiamites/Bersimis)]  Search this
Collector:
William F. Stiles, Non-Indian, 1912-1980  Search this
Object Name:
Doll's cap/hat
Media/Materials:
Cotton cloth, embroidery floss
Techniques:
Sewn, embroidered
Object Type:
Games, Toys, Gambling: Dolls
Place:
Betsiamites (Bersimis); Côte Nord Region; Québec; Canada
Catalog Number:
22/1178
Barcode:
221178.000
See related items:
Innu [Pessamit (Betsiamites/Bersimis)]
Games, Toys, Gambling: Dolls
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_235200
Additional Online Media:

Girl's moccasins

Culture/People:
Innu [Pessamit (Betsiamites/Bersimis)]  Search this
Collector:
William F. Stiles, Non-Indian, 1912-1980  Search this
Object Name:
Girl's moccasins
Media/Materials:
Sealskin/fur, fur, glass bead/beads
Techniques:
Overlay beadwork , painted
Object Type:
Clothing/Garments: Footwear
Place:
Betsiamites (Bersimis); Côte Nord Region; Québec; Canada
Catalog Number:
22/1179
Barcode:
221179.000
See related items:
Innu [Pessamit (Betsiamites/Bersimis)]
Clothing/Garments: Footwear
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_235201
Additional Online Media:

Tobacco bag

Culture/People:
Innu [Pessamit (Betsiamites/Bersimis)]  Search this
Collector:
William F. Stiles, Non-Indian, 1912-1980  Search this
Previous owner:
William F. Stiles, Non-Indian, 1912-1980  Search this
Seller:
William F. Stiles, Non-Indian, 1912-1980  Search this
Object Name:
Tobacco bag
Media/Materials:
Sealskin/fur, canvas, hide thong/babiche, glass bead/beads
Techniques:
Sewn, overlay beadwork, edge beaded
Object Type:
Pipes and Smoking
Place:
Betsiamites (Bersimis); Côte Nord Region; Québec; Canada
Catalog Number:
24/1485
Barcode:
241485.000
See related items:
Innu [Pessamit (Betsiamites/Bersimis)]
Pipes and Smoking
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_256755
Additional Online Media:

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