The collection dates from circa 1981 to 2018 and consists of photographic prints, negatives, posters, art prints, DVDs and printed and manuscript materials. Photographs depict architecture, agricultural work, beadwork, weaving, village scenes, artists, artists at work, artworks, markets, celebrations, scenic views, animals, churches and mosques. Most depict Kunama or Saho peoples, particularly women and children. LaDuke also regularly photographed war zones during the Border War, especially those in Nakfa and Gelebe, portraying Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. Locations include villages in Ethiopia and Eritrea, particularly Senafe, Nakfa and Massawa, as well as Border War zones various battlefields and camps for internally displaced persons.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of 3,194 color photographs (20 x 24 inches or smaller), 2,488 color 35 mm negatives, a copy of a sketchbook, 11 posters, 24 art prints, biographical materials, correspondence, printed materials, and 3 DVDs, created by Betty LaDuke in circa 1981-2018.
The majority of the photographs were taken in Eritrea, including in Agordat, Asmara, Barentu, Emebet, Geleba, Keren, Massawa, Mendefera, Nakfa, Senafe and Serona, though some were taken in Ethiopia, especially in Lalibela. Images depict architecture, agricultural work, beadwork, weaving, village scenes, artists, artists at work, artworks, markets, celebrations, scenic views, animals, churches and mosques. Most of the photos depict Kunama or Saho peoples, particularly women and children. LaDuke also regularly photographed war zones during the Border War, especially those in Nakfa and Gelebe, portraying Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, Red Cross workers, World Food Program supply tents and the Tacoumbia Food Distribution Center. Other notable subjects include the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW), artwork in the Saint George Gallery and children at Dekemhare School.
LaDuke frequently documented art workshops that she attended, artwork and exhibits. Many of her photos depict artwork by Berhane Adonais, Michael Adonais, Mussie Asgodam, Haile Berthe, Danny Dafla, Isak Fasil, Josief Idris, Terhas Iyassu, Elsa Yacob, Abraham Mogos, Kiros Adebe, Tzeghereda Yohannes, Teamrat Ghidei, Afewerki Asmeron, Demoz Russom and Jacob Abraha, as well as the artists themselves at work, socializing or posing by their finished artwork. Additionally, the collection includes four pen and ink drawings by the artists Afewerki Haile, Yoseirf G. Idris and Fessahaie Zemicael, and a number of art prints by LaDuke.
A copy of LaDuke's sketchbook depicts scenes in Asmara and surrounding areas, Tekul, Aidkeh, Keren, Barantu, Tocumbia, Mendefera, Senafe and Massawa. LaDuke sketched village, market and street scenes, celebrations, churchgoers at a Coptic Church, animals, Saho basketmakers, Kunama peoples, St. George's Restaurant and grain mill workers, among other subjects.
Biographical Materials include artist statements and biographical notes, a letter announcing LaDuke as winner of the Vida Scudder Award, a blank registration form for the Northern National Art Competition, for which LaDuke served as judge, a letter to LaDuke from Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan, exhibit schedules and a resume.
The printed material in the collection includes clippings of publications in which LaDuke's artwork is featured, such as Sojourners, Ashland Magazine, School Arts Magazine and Calyx, promotional materials and a holiday notecard produced by Heifer International, announcements and posters. Exhibition files for LaDuke's shows include clippings, announcements, catalogs, photos, correspondence and a CD-ROM of her photos. Additionally, there are a substantial number of exhibit reviews published in such magazines and newspapers as The Oregonian, The Christian Science Monitor and the Durango Herald.
Finally, the collection contains three DVDs entitled Africa Between Myth and Reality (circa 2000), Betty LaDuke: Art Reflection Life (2006), and With Love from Eritrea (2018)which document LaDuke's artistic process and artwork.
The collection is organized into 10 series:
Series 1: Photographic Prints, 1994-2002 (3,031 prints; Binders 1-7)
Series 2: Sketchbook (Copy), circa 1998 (1 Book; Binder 8)
Series 3: Color Photographic Prints, 1986-2003 (135 items; Boxes 9-10)
Series 4: Exhibition-Related Prints, Photographs and Posters, circa 1992-circa 2002 (21 items; Box 11)
Series 5: Art Prints and Matted Color Photographic Prints by LaDuke, 2001, 2008, undated (38 items; Boxes 12-13)
Series 6: Biographical Materials, circa 1999-circa 2009 (6 folders; Box 15)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1996-2008 (32 folders, Boxes 15-16)
Series 8: A/V Material, circa 2000-2018 (3 DVDs, Box 17)
Series 9: Art Prints and Poster by Other Artists, 1994, undated (5 items; Box 18)
Series 10: Negatives, 1994-2002 (2,488 items)
Artist, writer, professor and multicultural women's art advocate Betty LaDuke (b. 1933) was born in the Bronx to Russian and Polish immigrant parents. She attended California State University in Los Angeles and the Otis College of Art and Design. After three years of teaching junior high art in East Los Angeles, LaDuke moved to Ashland, Oregon in 1964 to accept a position in the art department at Southern Oregon University, where she would teach for over 30 years. Beginning in 1972, she began to undertake annual research journeys to Asia, Latin America, Oceania and Africa, where she found inspiration for the paintings and prints that would make up her circulating exhibits. Upon her retirement from teaching in 1996, LaDuke began to travel to project sites of Heifer International, a humanitarian organization concerned with world hunger and environmental sustainability. These experiences inspired a new phase of her work, including a return to mural painting. LaDuke has published several books on women's art and has been the subject of a book by Gloria Feman Orenstein, entitled Multi-Cultural Celebrations: the Paintings of Betty LaDuke 1972-1992.
Use of original records requires an appointment. The negatives are located in cold storage. All negatives have been digitized and are available online.
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.