Kaslov, Steve, ca. 1888-1949 (King of the Red Bandanna Romany Gypsies ) Search this
4.3 Cubic feet (15 boxes)
West Virginia -- 1930-1950
New Jersey -- 1930-1950
Maspeth (Queens, Long Island, N.Y.) -- 1930-1950
New York (N.Y.) -- photographs -- 1930-1950
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 4.3 cubic feet of manuscript, print, and photographic materials created or collected by Carl de Wendler-Funaro (1898-1985) in pursuit of his interest in Gypsy life and culture. (Carlos de Wendler-Funaro used several forms of his name; he wrote mostly as Carl de Wendler-Funaro.) The -collection was brought to the attention of the Division of Community Life, National Museum of American History, by Matt T. Salo and donated to the Smithsonian by Dr. de Wendler-Funarol's widow, Cornelia de Funaro, in May 1985, through Richard E. Ahlborn, Curator.
The number and breadth of the photographic materials, especially, the accompanying documentation and their representation of many Gypsy groups in a single time period, make this collection an important resource for research.
Print and Manuscript Materials
The print and manuscript materials in the collection are organized-into six series: (1) materials for which Carl de Wendler-Funaro is author, co-author or editor; (2) materials about de Wendler-Funaro; (3) correspondence; (4) journals, books, or extracts from them, by various authors; (5) newspaper and magazine articles; (6) photomechanical images from newspapers, magazines, and books.
The manuscript materials include drafts of portions of planned books, reading notes, and Gypsy language notes and transcriptions. De Wendler-Funaro seems to have planned two books. One was to have been a book of his photographs, with accompanying essays describing his encounters with Gypsies, the other a work on Gypsies, especially those in the United States. The major element of the second book was to have been the history of the Rom in this country as told by Steve Kaslov. The second work was to have included the manuscripts, 'The Last Caravan,' on Romnichels in the United States; 'Romanian Gypsies in Maspeth Village,' on the Ludar; 'Hungarian Gypsies,' orx these musicians in the United States; and some folk tale materials. Several outlines for the two books are in the collection.
The draft materials written with Steve Kaslov include an account of the Gypsy leader Chaiko Jura. The account, which seems to approach legend at some points, describes his immigration to the United States, adventures in this country, and death. Also among the draft materials, and intended to follow in the proposed book, is what may be termed an official biography of Steve Kaslov (c. 1888-1949). Apparently tentatively entitled "The Ways of my People,' the manuscript recounts a few incidents, told at length, in the experiences of Kaslov's family and social network from about 1900 to about 1938.
De Wendler-Funaro's notes suggest that the Kaslov biography was dictated to an unnamed lawyer in the early 1930s and given to de Wendler-Funaro in 1934. Kaslov dictated the story of Chaiko to de Wendler-Funaro. (Perhaps this is the source of a statement in the New York Sun, June 20, 1941, that Kaslov had written two books.)
The okaslov manuscripts' are written mostly in a variety of American English common among American Rom. Parts of the biographical section are written in the first person, others in the third. Cultural material includes descriptions of weddings, funerary ritual, business transactions, conflicts and conflict resolution. As factual sources the manuscripts are unreliable: dates, for example, are only very approximate; birth places for Steve Kaslov and his family are incorrect.
Evidence in the manuscripts indicates that de Wendler-Funaro hoped, through 1976, to publish these texts in some form. Apparently Kaslov made a first attempt to publish in 1940, when he sent a draft to Eleanor Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt sent the manuscript on to George Bye, a literary agent, who returned it in 1941 as unpublishable, calling it a Oterribly disorganized manuscript .... [Kaslov] is now working with a doctor (de Wendler-Funarol who claims to be an author but the results are very unhappy' (Correspondence in FDR Library).
Correspondence in the collection (series 3) includes letters to and from de Wendler-Funaro; drafts of letters by Steve Kaslov, soliciting aid for Gypsy education; and correspondence between the U.S. Consulate in Matamoros, Mexico, and the U.S. Department of State. According to Mrs. de Funaro, Carl de Wendler-Funaro destroyed his other correspondence before his death.
Many of the books, journals, articles, and extracts in the collection (series 4)- are materials upon which de Wendler-Funarol's dissertation is based. They include typed transcriptions of published articles as well as printed matter; dates of the materials range from 1554 to 1979.
The collection includes about 2,000 photoprints, including multiple copies, and 2,000 negatives. These materials are organized into eleven series: (7) photographs by de Wendler-Funaro: Gypsies in the United States; (8)photographs by de Wendler-Funaro: Gypsies outside the United States; (9) heirloom photographs'; (10) photographs by other creators; (11) photographs ;rom commercial agencies; (12) photographs of non-Gypsies; (13) photocopies, of numbered photos, in numerical order; (14) negatives; (15) contact sheets made from negatives from by the Smithsonian Office of Printing and Photographic Services, 1986; (16) scrapbook sheets; (17) slides made from negatives and prints by the Smithsonian Office of Printing and Photographic. services, 1986.
The original photographs by Carlos de Wendlet-Funaro span the,period 1922 to 1966, but the majority were taken from about 1932 to about 1942. More than half the photographs are of the Rom group of Gypsies in the United States, and most of these were taken in New York City from about 1938 to about 1942. Other original photos by de Wendler-Funaro are of other Gypsy groups in the United States -- Ludar, Romnichels, 'Black Dutch,w and Hungarian musicians -- as well as of Gypsies in Mexico, Holland, Germany, Austria, France, England, and Hungary. Photographs by other creators include copies of portraits collected from Gypsy families, photos by other photographers, and commercial news photographs collected by de Wendler-Funaro.
De Wendler-Funaro seems to have used the photographs to gain access to Gypsy families and communities (many photos show Gypsies examining albums and sets of pictures). Some photographs were published in his 1937 article, and in two articles by Victor Weybright (1938a, 1938b). De Wendler-Funaro apparently also used lantern slides made from these photographs in lectures on the subject of Gypsies; a handbill advertising his availability on the lecture circuit is part of the collection.
Manuscript drafts for book outlines, introductions, and accompanying essays show that de Wendler-Funaro long nurtured hopes of publishing a popular tool-, 'Incorporating his photographs. To this end he numbered and captioned more than a hundred of these; a partial list of captions is part of the manuscript files. For the most part, the captions are not very helpful in understanding Gypsy cultures. Photocopies of these pictures with captions, in numerical order, are in box 8. With some exceptions, most of the photographs can be used to study costume, personal ornament, and kinesics; these will not be listed separately as subjects in the inventory. The photos of the Rom in New York City show several types of traditional costume, contemporary modish dress, and a wide range of variations on both. Taken together with the "heirloom photos' collected from the same group, they show change and variety in men's and women's dress.
In the photographs of individuals and groups one may compare, for example, sitting positions of women with relation to costume and use (or non-use) of chairs.
Most of the photographs of Rom taken in New York City show Gypsies relaxing on stoops or in the street during the summer, a common pastime in their neighborhoods. They contain little culturally specific information other than that discussed above.
Information on housing is most clearly represented in photographs of camps, in which the type of tent and, to some extent, the relationships of tents, are visible. All the tents shown appear to be commercially made. Since it was the practice to raise the tent walls in good weather, many photos also show tent interiors, with wooden platform floors used on non-grassy sites (Rom) or linoleum as a ground cloth (Romnichel). The use of featherbeds; either alone (Rom) or with bedsteads (Romnichel) is documented.
There are few photographs showing the use of interior space in urban storefront or apartment dwellings (Rom). The photographs taken in the Maspeth, Long Island, 'Gypsy village' show exteriors of the shacks built@by the Ludar.
Of cooking and heating equipment, the cast-iron or sheet-metal stoves of the Romnichels are most evident. The Rom are shown using a variety of equipment, the traditional trivet (Mexico), the Coleman-type camp stove (U.S), and the pot-bellied coal stove (New York City).
Photographs of autos and trucks, auto-drawn luggage trailers (Romnichels in the North), and horse-drawn wagons (by the horse and mule trading Romnichels in the South) reveal something of the transport of people and goods.
A few photographs show subjects at work, but most work pictures are static demonstrations or mere associations with productive enterprise. There are demonstrations of coppersmithing and fender repair work (Rom), and manufacture of rustic furniture (Romnichels), as well as posed demonstrations of palm-reading. Romnichels in the South are shown posing with horses and mules. The business that appears most frequently is fortune-telling, through photographs of roadside business tents (Romnichel); amusement, fair, and resort-area tents and stands (Rom); and canvas facades, banners and signs carrying the fortune-teller's message.
Ritual life is poorly represented in the photographs. There are some photos of a funeral procession, and one interior shot of a funeral; two photos of a saint's-day feast; one of a memorial feast; and one set taken in preparation for Christmas festivities. Curiously, there are no photographs of Rom weddings. The dearth of pictures of rituals and celebrations, which form so important a part of Rom life, may be due to difficulties with interior lighting.
Because of internal and other inconsistencies, exact dating of the photographs is often difficult. Discrepancies of as much as ten year occur in some of the dates in de Wendler-Funaro's notes.
Collection is arranged into seventeen series.
Biographical / Historical:
According to information supplied by Mrs. de Funaro, Carl de Wendler-Funaro was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 12, 1898. After attending Boys' High School and Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, he attended the University of Illinois and Cornell University, receiving a bachelor's degree in entolomology from Cornell in 1923. Subsequently he taught foreign languages at New York University, the McBurney School of the YMCA in New York City, Newark Academy and Wagner College. He began graduate work in the late 1930s, and in 1958 earned a doctorate from Columbia University with a dissertation on 'The Gitano in Spanish Literature' (a copy is in the collection, Box 1, folders 2 and 3). De Wendler-Funaro retired from teaching in 1963; he died in Tucson, Arizona on February 15, 1985.
Carl de Wendler-Funaro was an avid amateur collector of insects, especially Coleoptera, as well as shells, minerals, stamps and coins; his insect collections were donated to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
De Wendler-Funaro's interest in Gypsies, according to his manuscripts, began in childhood. The manuscripts and one published article indicate that this interest continued to be personal, rather than professional,,,,apd @hat,,he, did not pursue his contacts with Gypsies systematically. (it was, not, 'until' the late 1940s that anthropologists began systematic studies of GYPSY.@ cultures.) It appears that de Wendler-Funaro sought out Gypsies in fairgrounds, amusement parks and urban storefronts, collecting specimens of language and taking photographs. Irving Brown's letter to de Wendler-Funaro (1929), and de Wendler-Funarol's article in Leisure (1937) refer to his visits to amusement parks. Some of his Romnichel (English Gypsy) subjects recall him as the man who drove along the roads, stopping to take pictures wherever he saw a tent. About 1938 de Wendler-Funaro became involved with a Committee on Gypsy Problems of the Welfare Council, a social service agency of New York City. This involvement may have been an outgrowth of his association with Steve Kaslov, styled by some a Gypsy king. De Wendler-Funaro seems to have served as Kaslov's amanuensis.
Gypsies in the United States:
Several groups, all known to outsiders as "Gypsies," live today in the United Sates. In their native languages, each of the groups refers to itself by a specific name, but all translate their self-designations as 'Gypsy' when speaking English. Each had its own cultural, linguistic, and historical tradition before coming to this country, and each maintains social distance from the others. An overview of these groups and their interethnic relations is presented in "Gypsy Ethnicity: Implications of Native Categories and Interaction for Ethnic Classification," by Matt T. Salo.
The Rom arrived in the United States from Serbia, Russia and Austria-Hungary beginning in the 1880s, part of the larger wave of immigration from southern and eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Primary immigration ' ended, for the most part, in 1914, with the beginning of the First World War and subsequent tightening of immigration restrictions (Salo and Salo 1986). Many people in this group specialized in coppersmith work, mainly the repair and retinning of industrial equipment used in bakeries, laundries, confectionaries, and other businesses. The Rom, too, developed the fortune-telling business in urban areas.
Two subgroups of the Rom, the Kalderash ('coppersmiths') and, Machwaya natives of machva,' a county in Serbia) appear in the photographs iiv, this collection. De Wendler-Funaro identified some, but not all, Kalderash as, 'Russian Gypsies.' Another group he identified as "Russian Gypsies' seem, to,, be the Rusniakuria ('Ruthenians'), who in New York are known as musicians and singers.
The Ludar, or "Romanian Gypsies,' also immigrated to the United States during the great immigration from southern and eastern Europe between 1880 and 1914. Most of the Ludar came from northwestern Bosnia. Upon their arrival in the United States they specialized as animal trainers and show people, and indeed passenger manifests show bears and monkeys as a major part of their baggage. Most of de Wendler-Funarols photographs of this group were taken in Maspeth, a section of the borough of Queens in New York City, where the Ludar created a village of home-made shacks that existed from about 1925 to 1939, when it was razed. A similar settlement stood in the Chicago suburbs during the same period. One of de Wendler-Funarols manuscripts, "Romanian Gypsies at Maspeth Village,' (box 1, folder 9), and a letter from Ammiee Ellis, a social worker (box 2, folder 2), refer to this settlement.
The Romnichels, or English Gypsies, began to come to the United States from England in 1850. Their arrival coincided with an increase in the demand for draft horses in agriculture and then in urbanization, and many Romnichels worked as horse-traders. After the rapid decline in the horse trade following the First World War, most Romnichels relied on previously secondary enterprises, 'basket-making,* including the manufacture and sale of rustic furniture, and fortune-telling. Horse and mule trading continued to some extent in southern states where poverty and terrain slowed the adoption of tractor power (Salo and Salo 1982).
Photoprints in box 6, folders 2 through 10, correspond with de Wendler-Funarols trip described in his manuscript 'In Search of the Last Caravan' (box 1, folder 10). Discrepancies between this manuscript and the photos should be noted. De Wendler-Funarols notes date this trip variously between 1931 and 1945. I have dated it about 1940. Although one man appears as a frequent subject in the largest set of photos (box 6, folders 22 and 23), in the manuscript, de Funaro mentions having missed meeting him.
Gypsies from Germany, whom de Wendler-Funaro refers to 'as Chikkeners (Pennsylvania German, from the German Zigeuner), sometimes refer to themselves as wblack Dutch.w They are few in number and claim to have largely assimilated to Romnichel culture. They are represented in de Wendler-Punarols photographs by a few portraits of one old man and briefly referred to in the manuscript mIn Search of the Last Caravan.*
The Hungarian musicians also came to this country with the eastern European immigration. In the U.S. they continued as musicians to the Hungarian and Slovak immigrant settlements.
Collection donated by Mrs. Cornelia de Funaro, June 26, 1985.
Collection is open for research.
Photographs by de Wendler-Funaro are available for reproduction. Fees for commercial use. Permission to reproduce photographs by Alexander Alland must be granted by the photographer's estate; other photographs may have copyright restrictions.
Funeral rites and ceremonies -- manuscripts -- Gypsies Search this
The papers of Austrian born curator, lecturer, and museum director, René d'Harnoncourt (1901-1968), document d'Harnoncourt's activities, primarily in the 1930s and 1940s, particularly as they relate to Mexican and Native American art. D'Harnoncourt's career, including his arrival in Mexico in 1925, his curation of the exhibitions, Mexican Art (1930-1932), and Indian Art of the United States (1941), and his work for the Department of the Interior's Indian Arts and Crafts Board from 1937-1944, are documented in small amounts of biographical material and correspondence, published writings, printed material, scrapbooks, photographs of d'Harnoncourt and colleagues, and photographs of works of art. The collection also contains a drawing of d'Harnoncourt, and photocopies of caricatures of d'Harnoncourt and others.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Austrian-American curator, lecturer, and museum director, René d'Harnoncourt (1901-1968), document d'Harnoncourt's activities, primarily in the 1930s and 1940s, particularly as they relate to Mexican and Native American art. D'Harnoncourt's career, including his arrival in Mexico in 1925, his curation of the exhibitions, Mexican Art (1930-1932), and Indian Art of the United States (1941), and his work for the Department of the Interior's Indian Arts and Crafts Board from 1937-1944, are documented in small amounts of biographical material and correspondence, published writings, printed material, scrapbooks, photographs of d'Harnoncourt and colleagues, and photographs of works of art. The collection also contains a drawing of d'Harnoncourt, and photocopies of caricatures of d'Harnoncourt and others.
Biographical material consists of d'Harnoncourt's official Austrian departure documents for his travel to Mexico in 1925; pages of an appointment book from 1932; and notes on d'Harnoncourt's career that index publications in which he is mentioned amongst other things, prepared by Sarah d'Harnoncourt.
Correspondence and memoranda relate primarily to the Mexican Arts exhibition, (1930-1932) sponsored by the American Federation of Arts; the "Art in America" radio program, organized by the American Federation of Arts with the cooperation of the Museum of Modern Art; d'Harnoncourt's part time teaching position at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville; and his appointment as General Manager of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board. Later correspondence references research on d'Harnoncourt's work for the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, and includes information on d'Harnoncourt, provided in response to inquiries about him.
Writings by d'Harnoncourt include published articles on Mexican and Indian arts and crafts, a 1969 reprint of d'Harnoncourt's and Frederic H. Douglas's expanded version of the catalog for Indian Art of the United States, a foreword, and two seminar/symposium papers. Unpublished writings comprise two typescripts. The series also includes several writings by others.
Printed material includes announcements and exhibition catalogs, documentation of the "Art in America Program," published books belonging to and/or referencing d'Harnoncourt, Department of Interior publications, including some issued by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Museum of Modern art press releases, news clippings relating to d'Harnoncourt and his activities, and miscellaneous printed material.
Additional clippings from a dismantled scrapbook(s) document the Mexican Arts exhibition.
Artwork and artifacts include one original sketch in colored pencil of d'Harnoncourt by Austrian artist, Silverbauer, photocopies of caricatures and doodles by d'Harnoncourt, Miguel Covarrubias, and Caroline Durieux, and two Indian Arts and Crafts Board weaving samples.
Photographs are of d'Harnoncourt, Sarah d'Harnoncourt, and friends and colleagues. They include a photograph of d'Harnoncourt by Manuel Alvarez-Bravo; snapshots of others including Fred Davis; Sarah d'Harnoncourt and folk art specialist, Victor Fosado; fellow Indian Arts and Crafts Board members, architect Henry Klumb, Alice Marriot, and anthropologist, author, and tribal council member, Gladys Tantaquidgeon. Also found are three photographs of Mexican Art exhibition installations; fourteen photographs of Native Americans; three photographs showing covers and/or fronts pieces of d'Harnoncourts books Beast, Bird and Fish, Mexicana, The Hole in the Wall, and The Painted Pig; and photographs of artwork included in the Mexican Art exhibition and an exhibition of Australian Aboriginal Cave Paintings (1947).
The collection is arranged as seven series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1925-circa 1978 (5 folders; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence and Memoranda, 1929-1981 (5 folders; Box 1)
Series 3: Writings, 1928-circa 1970s (0.4 linear feet; Box 1, OV 4)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1921-1979 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, OV 4)
Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1930-1933 (0.3 linear feet; Box 2)
Series 6: Artwork and Artifacts, circa 1926-circa 1950s (3 folders; Box 3)
Series 7: Photographs, 1930-1983 (0.25 linear feet; Box 3, OV 4)
Biographical / Historical:
Austrian born curator, lecturer, and museum director, René d'Harnoncourt (1901-1968), was an authority on Native American art and Mexican arts and crafts. He curated and toured with a traveling exhibition, Mexican Art, from 1930-1932, guest curated the exhibition, Indian Art of the United States, for the Museum of Modern Art in 1941, served on the Department of the Interior's Indian Arts and Crafts Board from 1937-1944, and was Director of the Museum of Modern Art from 1949-1968.
D'Harnoncourt was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1901. He left Austria for Mexico in 1925, and began working for American, Frederick Davis, who owned a shop that sold Mexican antiquities and folk art in Mexico City. At this time, d'Harnoncourt made many important connections, including meeting American Ambassador to Mexico, Dwight Morrow, and his wife, Elizabeth Morrow. D'Harnoncourt illustrated several books in the early 1930s, including The Painted Pig (1930) and Beast, Bird and Fish (1933), both written by Elizabeth Morrow, and The Hole in the Wall (1931) and Mexicana: A Book of Pictures (1931). According to Sarah d'Harnoncourt, her husband considered himself an amateur in the field of book illustration, which he enjoyed as a means of self-amusement.
In 1929, d'Harnoncourt was asked to curate an extensive exhibition of Mexican art to travel to major cities in the United States, sponsored by the American Federation of Arts. D'Harnoncourt toured with this exhibition, Mexican Art, for two years, beginning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in October, 1930.
D'Harnoncourt visited Austria briefly in 1932, then returned to the United States in 1933 and married Sarah Carr the same year. He became a naturalized United States citizen in 1939.
Between 1933 and 1944, d'Harnoncourt directed the radio program "Art in America," organized by the American Federation of Arts in cooperation with the Museum of Modern Art. He also taught art history at Sarah Lawrence College from 1934-1937. In 1936 he began working for the Indian Arts and Crafts Board of the Department of the Interior, becoming General Manager in 1937, and the Board's Chairman in 1944. As General Manager he curated an exhibition on Indian art for the San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939, and installed an expanded version of the exhibition, Indian Art of the United States, as guest curator for the Museum of Modern Art in 1940-1941.
In 1944, d'Harnoncourt joined the Museum of Modern Art as Vice President in charge of Foreign Activities, focusing his work on Latin America, and as Director of the Department of Manual Industries, responsible for the preservation of Native American art and culture. In 1949 he was appointed Director of the Museum of Modern Art, and served in this capacity until his death in an automobile accident in 1968.
An oral history of René d'Harnoncourt, interviewed by Isabel Grossner in 1968, can be found at Columbia University, Oral History Research Office, 801 Butler Library, 535 West 114 Street, New York, NY 10027.
The bulk of René d'Harnoncourt's papers are in the Museum Archives of the Museum of Modern Art. The Museum's 59.25 linear feet document, in particular, d'Harnoncourt's years with the Museum from 1944-1968. That collection also includes papers donated by Sarah d'Harnoncourt which relate to d'Harnoncourt's time in Mexico, from 1925-1932, and his work in the United States from 1933-1944. While these holdings may overlap occasionally with the papers in the Archives of American Art (some items at the Archives of American Art, for instance, may be photocopies of originals at the Museum), the bulk of the Archives' d'Harnoncourt papers appear to be distinct from those at the Museum.
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels 2919-2931) including papers generated by d'Harnoncourt during his professional affiliation with the Museum of Modern Art, such as, personal files, three appointment notebooks, professional files including Latin American correspondence, exhibition files, files documenting outside affiliations, and departmental and special event files. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
D'Harnoncourt's widow, Sarah d'Harnoncourt, donated the René d'Harnoncourt papers to the Archives of American Art in 1975, 1981, and 1984. An additional eleven linear feet of material was lent by the Museum of Modern Art's for microfilming in 1983.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Reels 2919-2931: Authorization to publish requires written permission from Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y. MoMA requires full citation to include microfilm reel and frame numbers, and reference to MoMA as the owner of the Rene d'Harnoncourt papers. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Art museums -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Art museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
The collection consists of 6,567 color slides taken by Dr. Marilyn Houlberg during various field studies among the Yoruba in southwest Nigeria between 1961 and circa 2005. The images depict Yoruba art and culture with a special focus on artisans, art objects, body arts, costume, festivals, hairstyles, indigenous photography, weaving and textiles. Cultural events depicted include Balufon festivals, Egungun and Gelede masquerades, social events (weddings, christenings, funerals), and religious ceremonies (initiation and animal sacrifice). Also included are various scenes of daily life, architecture, food preparation, markets, portraits and landscapes. Houlberg extensively documented Yoruba artists in the process of creating their art, including carvers Yesufu Ejigboye, Runshewe, and Lamidi Fakeye, as well as the final pieces themselves. Houlberg documentated art in situ, such as Yoruba house posts, shrines, wall art and wood doors and art objects, including Gelede masks, Ibeji (twin) and Eshu figures, Osanyin staffs, and Ogboni and Shango shrines. Manuscript and printed materials, including Houlberg's resume, thesis, and numerous published articles are also available in this collection.
Scope and Contents note:
This 6,567 slide collection documents Houlberg's studies in Southwestern Nigeria spanning from 1961 to circa 2005. The collection primarily includes photos of people, including the Ogboni, Pokot, Yoruba, Turkana and Igbo, shrines, festivals and rituals, art objects, and artists. A particular strength of the collection are photos of Balufon festivals, Egungun and Gelede masquerades, social events (weddings, christenings, funerals), and religious ceremonies (initiation and animal sacrifice). Also included are various scenes of daily life, architecture, food preparation, markets, portraits and landscapes. Houlberg mostly photographed in Ilishan, Ikenne, Ilara, Shagamu, Lagos, Ijebu-Ode, and Egbe.
Houlberg extensively documented Yoruba artists in the process of creating their art, including carvers Yesufu Ejigboye, Runshewe, and Lamidi Fakeye, as well as the final pieces themselves. Houlberg documentated art in situ, such as Yoruba house posts, shrines, wall art, wood doors and art objects, including Gelede masks, Ibeji (twin) and Eshu figures, Osanyin staffs, and Ogboni and Shango shrines. Several Yoruba art forms, including photography, scarification tattoos, and textiles (both cloth and dress), are represented in the collection. Additionally, there are numerous slides of Yoruba hairstyles, many of which she published in her article, Social Hair: Tradition and Change in Yoruba Hairstyles in Southwestern Nigeria.
Yoruba ritual specialists, such as Ife-olu Solaru, Olufunke, and Yesufu Ejigboye, appear frequently throughout the collection. Houlberg documented her many stays with these individuals over the years.
There is also one binder of manuscript and printed materials, including Houlberg's resume, thesis, and numerous published articles.
The collection is organized into 29 series according to subject. The series descriptions correspond with particular subjects used in Houlberg's teaching and lectures. All slides were kept in the order in which they were donated.
Series 1: African Hairstyles, circa 1973-1994 (Binder 1; 212 slides)
Series 2: Egungun Festival, 1961-circa 1988 (Binder 1; 362 slides)
Series 3: Gelede, circa 1969-circa 1989 (Binder 2; 301 slides)
Series 4: Ibeji Twins, circa 1969-circa 1990 (Binders 2-3; 854 slides)
Series 5: Ogboni Art Objects and Shrines, circa 1969-circa 1982 (Binder 4; 92 slides)
Series 6: Art Objects Depicting Ogun, circa 1969-circa 1983 (Binder 4; 56 slides)
Series 7: Olojufoforo Art and Festivities, circa 1968-circa 1975 (Binder 4; 21 slides)
Series 8: Yoruba People, Architecture, and Art, circa 1969-circa 1985 (Binder 4; 260 slides)
Series 9: Carving, Art Objects and Artists, and Scenes of Daily Life, circa 1973-circa 1988 (Binder 4; 201 slides)
Series 10: Yoruba Art, circa 1971-circa 1983 (Binder 5; 49 slides)
Series 11: Yoruba Textiles, circa 1973-circa 1983 (Binder 5; 84 slides)
Series 12: Yoruba, Miscellaneous, circa 1967-circa 1989 (Binder 5; 251 slides)
Series 13: African Art, Textiles People, and Dwellings, circa 1963-circa 1983 (Binder 6; 58 slides)
Series 14: Ibo Mbari and Igbo Peoples and Artwork, circa 1967-circa 1985 (Binder 6; 212 slides)
Series 15: Art and Ceremonies, circa 1967-circa 1991 (Binder 6; 493 slides)
Series 16: Body Arts, Nuba People (Sudan) and Fulani and Bororo People (Niger), circa 1973-circa 1979 (Binder 7; 64 slides)
Series 17: People, Scenic Views and Animals of Kenya, Sudan, Angola, and Ghana, circa 1972-circa 1985 (Binder 7; 168 slides)
Series 18: Peoples and Arts of Ghana, Mali, and the Ivory Coast, circa 1966-circa 1992 (Binder 7; 406 slides)
Series 19: Published Maps and Photos, circa 1968-circa 1985 (Binder 8; 70 slides)
Series 20: Nigerian Masks and Art Objects, circa 1967-circa 1978 (Binder 8; 396 slides)
Series 21: Yoruba Festivals, People, and Art in Nigeria, circa 1967-circa 1988 (Binders 8-9; 128 slides)
Series 22: Yoruba Photography and Textiles, circa 1975-circa 1983 (Binder 9; 54 slides)
Series 23: Ife-Olu, Ilishan, circa 1980-circa 1988 (Binder 9; 87 slides)
Series 24: Yoruba Festivals, People, Hairstyles, Ibeji Objects, Eshu Figures, and Oya and Orishala Priests, Priestesses, and Shrines, circa 1966-circa 1988 (Binder 9; 168 slides)
Series 25: Shango, circa 1970-circa 1983 (Binder 10, 162 slides)
Series 26: Ara Festival, 1975 (Binder 10; 174 slides)
Series 27: Ceremonies and Festivals, Portraits, Art and Ceremonial Objects, Domestic and Market Scenes, circa 1969-circa 2005 (Binders 10-11; 759 slides)
Series 28: Yoruba Art Objects, and Domestic, Work, and Festival Scenes, circa 1971-circa 1983 (Binder 11; 104 slides)
Series 29: Manuscript and Printed Materials, 1973-circa 2005 (Binder 12)
Artist, anthropologist, and art historian Dr. Marilyn Hammersley Houlberg was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1939. Houlberg received an Associate of Arts degree from Wright Junior College (1959) and a BFA from the University of Chicago (1963). After graduating, she traveled to North Africa and explored Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. In 1964, Houlberg researched Haitian art, religion, and indigenous photography in Haiti and in 1965 was awarded a scholarship for graduate study from the University of Chicago. There she completed her MAT in Art History in 1967. Following graduation, Houlberg worked at the Nigerian Museum in Lagos, where she documented Yoruba sculpture, masquerades, religion, body art, and indigenous photography.
She began her teaching career at the University of Chicago as a lecturer on African art and African civilization, working there from 1971 to 1973. At the University of London, Houlberg earned a Masters in Anthropology, producing the thesis Yoruba Twin Sculpture and Ritual (1973). She also extensively photographed her travels abroad in Yorubaland. Between 1974 and 1990, Houlberg taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, Kalamazoo College, and Northwestern University. From 1974 to 2008 she continued teaching at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, lecturing on Yoruba art and ritual in West Africa and the New World, and the art and ritual of Vodou in Haiti.
Houlberg has lectured worldwide at numerous museums and symposiums since 1972, including in Lagos, Nigeria; Jacmel, Haiti; Toronto, Canada; Salvador, Bahia, Brazil; and Cologne, Germany. Her essays have been published in several issues of African Arts. Some of Houlberg's significant publications include Arts of the Water Spirits of Haitian Vodou, in Sacred Waters: Arts for Mami Wata and Other Divinities in Africa and the Diaspora (2008) and Water Spirits of Haitian Vodou: Lasiren, Queen of Mermaids, in Mami-Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and the African-Atlantic World (2008). The exhibition Mami-Wata at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (2009) featured her photographs.
Marilyn Houlberg, 733 West 18th St., Chicago, IL 60616, Donation, 20050320, 2005-0002
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