These papers of Philip L. Ravenhill primarily document the period during which he was a graduate student at the New School for Social Research and contain his field research on the Wan and neighboring groups in the Ivory Coast. There are also some some research files of Judith Timyan, whom Ravenhill was married to at the time.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Philip L. Ravenhill primarily document the period during which he was a graduate student at the New School for Social Research. The collection contains his field research on the Wan, including linguistic notes and notebooks with interlinear translations of Wan folktales and proverbs; archival and bibliographic research; field recordings; and a draft of his dissertation. The collection also contains his research on neighboring groups in the Ivory Coast, including the Baule, as well as some research files of Judith Timyan, whom Ravenhill was married to at the time. Additional materials includes correspondence, course papers and exams, grant applications, and maps.
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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today.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.
Folders are arranged in alphabetical order. The sound recordings are at the end.
Philip L. Ravenhill was the chief curator of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art, where he worked from 1987 until his death in 1997. He was born in 1945 in Bath, England. He earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Nyack College (1968) and his Ph.D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research (1976), where he studied under Thomas O. Beidelman. As a doctoral student, he conducted field research on the Wan in the central Ivory Coast. He had initially intended to study interethnic relations between the Wan and the Baule. Due to a flood that forced many of the Baule villages to relocate, Ravenhill focused his research on the social organization of the Wan. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, he was a senior research fellow at the International African Institute in London and project director of the West African Museums Project in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Cotter, Holland. 1997. Philip L. Ravenhill, 52, Expert On the Art and Culture of Africa. The New York Times, October 16. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/10/16/arts/philip-l-ravenhill-52-expert-on-the-art-and-culture-of-africa.html (accessed April 5, 2012).
Philip L. Ravenhill's curatorial records are at the Smithsonian Institution Archives. The Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives of the National Museum of African Art holds photographs from Ravenhill's research trip to Mali in 1989.
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by his former wife, Judith Timyan.
The Philip L. Ravenhill papers are open for research.
Access to the Philip L. Ravenhill papers requires an appointment.