Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Contributed in memory of Professor Sarah Webster Fabio (1928-1979), poet, educator, Black Arts Movement icon, and one of the Literary Corner's analysts.
Instrumental and vocal music from African cultures including Akonodey by Akan Adowa musicians, Dance Of The Witch Doctor by Festival Music Of The Princess Of Dahomey, and Ewe Chorus with drum, rattle, gong.
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Sharon Frances Patton research material regarding Vincent Smith, 1968-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The bulk of the collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.
Romare Bearden papers, 1937-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Photographs made on Hector Acebes's expeditions in Africa and South America, mostly during the 1950s. Many of the images document people and markets in Africa (1949 and 1953), including Kikuyu, Masai, Mangbetu, Fulani, and Bassari peoples. There are also photographs made in the French Sudan, Guinea, Togo, Dahomey, Cameroon, the Congo Republic, Ruanda, Kenya, and Tanganyika. These prints were made for an exhibit.
Other sets include images of Jivaro, January, 1950; the Vaupés River and nearby tribes, September, 1950; a journey up the Orinoco to the Guaica, February, 1951; Arhuaco peoples, 1958; and Yuco peoples, 1960. Many photographs depict scenery and dwellings or are portraits (some show body and face paint). There are also images of fishing and hunting (Guaica); musical pipes (Guaica), a bridge, weaving, and bows and arrows (Arhuaco). Some photographs depict expedition members, including Acebes. The collection also includes photographs of the cover of Acebes' Orinoco Adventure, 1954, and coverage of his expeditions in Look, April 8, 1952, and Time (Latin American edition), December 24, 1951.
Hector Acebes was born in 1921 in New York City and raised in Madrid and Bogota. While in college at the Massachusetts Insitute of Technology, he operated his own photo studio. After graduating from MIT in 1947 with a degree in mechanical engineering, he moved back to Bogota. Throughout the late 1940s and the 1950s, Acebes undertook expeditions in Africa and South America and started to work as a professional filmmaker and lecturer. Acebes wrote, filmed, directed, and edited each of the forty-three films his production company, Acebes Productions, released.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 94-28
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Uaica photographs collected by Acebes held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4389.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 94-28, Hector Acebes photographs of African and South American peoples, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
The collection includes contributions from 101 former volunteers or administrators who served in such countries and regions as Afghanistan, Antigua, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ceylon, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dahomey, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland,Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey and Upper Volta.
The volunteers were involved in diverse assignments such as education, community development, agriculture, health work, and service through such special skills as art, surveying, mechanics, and photography. Two additional collections are including materials of missionaries that were offered to the archives as the result of the program to collect Peace Corps materials. Included are diaries, correspondence, writings, printed and processed material, sound recordings, and administrative materials. There are also photographic materials that show such subjects as traditional and modern agriculture, architecture, body scarification, ceremonies, dance, dress, fishing, food preparation and other domestic activities, industry, medicine, and transportation.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Arranged numerically, with indexes based upon creator names and subject of materials.
In 1975, Herman Joseph Viola, the director of the National Anthropological Archives; Saul Herbert Riesenberg, the curator for Oceania Ethnology in the Smithsonianʹs Department of Anthropology; and Dirk Ballendorf, assistant chief of programs and training for Peace Corps operations in North Africa, the Near East, Asia, and the Pacific, worked out a program whereby the archives would collect materials of former Peace Corps volunteers. In addition to photographic and other materials of potential use to many researchers, the collection was intended to document the impact of the volunteers on host countries and the experiences of the volunteers in working in foreign cultures.
Photographs taken by Roy Sieber. Images of African textile and the dyeing and weaving processes. Objects depicted include Asante Kente cloth, Hausa embroidered pants, Jukun tie-dye waist cloth, a Kuba hat, Yoruba indigo dye and a Zulu cloak, as well as akwete cloth from Nigeria, an appliqué dress from Cameroon, an appliqué robe from Ghana, cloth from Dahomey (now Benin) and dye pots from Ede. People portrayed include a Dogon dancer, Kajiado warriors with spears and shields, a weaver making cloth, and women dyeing cloth with indigo.
Images indexed by negative number.
Biographical / Historical:
Early American historian of African art Roy Sieber (1923-2001) is considered the founder of the discipline of African art history in the United States. He graduated from the New School for Social Research in New York in 1949, earned his M.A. at the University of Iowa (1951) and his Ph.D. from Iowa State University (1951), where he taught art history from 1950 to 1962. He joined Indiana University as an associate professor in 1962, one of the original scholars in the University's nascent African Studies Program as the Rudy Professor of Fine Arts. Sieber worked as the Associate Director for Collections and Research at the National Museum of African Art (Smithsonian Institution) from 1983 to 1993, where he was responsible for evaluating collection research and developing acquisition standards. Sieber received the first Leadership Award from the Arts Council of the African Studies Association in 1986.
Througout his career Sieber produced significant publications and served as lecturer and visiting professor at several universities in Africa as well as the United States. He was a member of the American Council of Learned Societies/Social Science Research Council Joint Committee on Africa between 1963 and 1971 and later the African Studies Association and the primitive art advisory committee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.