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Mali: From Timbuktu to Washington

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Introduction:
The 2003 Mali program was an invitation to think about Mali and her important place in the wider world. Mali's influence in West Africa and beyond has been felt for centuries. But her regional, continental, and global connections are not just part of the past. The Festival program also demonstrated Malians' ongoing interest in actively forging new links worldwide.

From Timbuktu to Washington evolved over five years, from a wish and an idea to a fully developed and exciting program of musical performances and cultural activities. Planning was enhanced by the previous relationships, both personal and institutional, between the Smithsonian and Malian cultural institutions and was supported by the Malian government and U.S. agencies in Mali. Malian organizers thoughtfully deliberated about what to share with American visitors and determined how Malian culture in all its diversity should be represented.

Traditional music is a vibrant expression of Mali's cultural diversity and wealth. Each ethnic group and region is characterized by certain musical rhythms, instruments, and compositions - a tremendous diversity of which were reflected in the Festival program. Music is involved in all aspects of life, marking birth, work, marriage, religious ceremonies, and death. For the Malian people, music is fundamental and essential to life: it has a precise function and meaning, and it is inextricably linked to a set of doctrines, ideals, beliefs, and practices whose coherence constitutes the identity of each group. Since beliefs about music are often associated with beliefs about the origin of both music and the ethnic group that performs it, the perpetuation of music is a matter of considerable importance.

Malian crafts are a legacy from the past but also very much a part of the present - and the future. People generally think of crafts as the artistic expression of a civilization or culture, but they are much more. Crafts are an important economic resource for Malians, and in 1995 the government adopted a Craft Code to protect and develop craft activity, which the code defined as all basically manual extraction, transformation, or production of goods or services, in metalwork (such as tool-making and appliance repair), woodwork (from carpentry to paper-making), textile and leather work (such as tailoring and tanning), mining and building trades, food processing and preparation (from meat-cutting to milling grain), health and body care (from hairdressing to incense-making), as well as arts. Crafts encompass not only objects used in rituals and traditional ceremonies, but also objects used in daily life - all demonstrated for Festival visitors on the National Mall. Other presentations focused on Malian vernacular architecture, the building arts, and foodways.

Samuel Sidibé, Oumou Dembélé, Zakiyatou Halatine, Sina Maiga, Stephanie Diakité, Modibo Diarra, and Vanessa Adams constituted the Curatorial Board/General Festival Coordination in Mali; Mary Jo Arnoldi and John Franklin were the Curatorial Team; Aboubakar Sanogo was Program Coordinator; and Diana N'Diaye was Fashion Curator. Music and Dance Commission: Kardigué Laico Traoré and N'tji Bagayoko; Craft Commission: Oumou Maiga; Architecture Commission: Alpha Baba Cissé and Boubacar Mady Diallo; Gastronomy Commission: Ami Sow; Communication Commission: Yiriba Samaké; Tourism Commission: Korotimi Théra; Commercial Crafts Commission: Tidiane Hady Kane.

The Mali National Planning Commission included: Dabele Diassana, Chair; Moussa Konaté; Gaoussou Mariko; Abdoulaye Sow; Germaine Samaké Sylla; Demba Kone; Oumou Maiga; Illal; Fatim Kouyaté; Yriba Samaké; and Mamadou Soubounou. A National Advisory Board included: Mossadeck Shada Bally; Alpha Baba Cissé; Ousmane Daou; Idrissa Diakité; Zakiyatou Halatine; Doulaye Konaté; Adam Ba Konaré, co-chair; Fatim Kouyaté; Adama Samessekou; Bintou Sanankuoa; Klena Sanogo; Samuel Sidibé, co-chair; Bakary Soumanou; Ousmane Sow; Djibril Tabouré; Adam Thiam; Barthélémy Togo; and Ibrahim Ag Youssouf.

The program was made possible by a partnership with the Government of Mali (Office of the President; Office of the Prime Minister; Malian National Folklife Festival Commission; Ministry ofTourism and Crafts; Ministry of Culture; Ministry ofWomen, Family, and Youth Affairs; and Ministry of Education), the World Bank, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Additional supporting organizations included the U.S. Department of State, Africa Society, Corporate Council on Africa, Friends of Mali, Association of Malians, the Peace Corps, Chemonics Inc., and John Snow Inc.
Participants:
PERFORMANCE TRADITIONS

Ali Farka Touré Group, Niafunke -- Ali Farka Touré Group, NiafunkeAli Farka Touré, electric guitar, vocalsOumar Touré, congas, chorus vocalsAli KontaSouleymane Kane, djembéHamadoun BocoumMamadou Kelly

Baba Larab, Gao -- Baba Larab, GaoGuilemikoye M'bara I., 1956-, dancerArawaidou Yacouba, 1959-, guitarSalif Maiga, 1950-, guitarZéinaba Assoutor, 1977-, dancer

Dogon Masked Dance Group, Bandiagara -- Dogon Masked Dance Group, BandiagaraInogo Dolo, 1928-, singerSomou Dolo, 1963-, dancerYanousssou Dolo, 1956-, dancerBassa Dolo, 1970-, dancerAmatigué Dolo, 1968-, drummerAtemelou Dolo, 1973-, dancerOgodana Dolo, 1950-, drummerBasso Dolo, 1963-, singerAly Dolo, singer

Donso N'goni -- Donso N'goniSékouba Traoré, 1965-, Koulikoro, singer and donso n'goniDramane Traoré, 1973-, Koulikoro, donso n'goniNianankoro Diarra, 1982-, Koulikoro, guiros

Ensemble Instrumental -- Ensemble InstrumentalMassambou Wèlè Diallo, artistic directorSouadou Soumano, 1958-, singerSaranfing Kouyaté, 1950-, singerNafissatou Maiga, 1954-, singerDjeneba Doumbia, 1962-, singerAdama Soumono Sacko, 1960-, singerBabily Kanouté, 1951-, koraSaranfing Kouyaté, 1950-, koraBinéfou Koita, 1960-, n'goniModibo Diabaté, 1961-, balafonMohamadoun Ag Sidi Cissé, djembe

Groupe So Fing, Markala -- Groupe So Fing, MarkalaMariam Thiero, 1956-, singer, dancerAichata Niono, 1971-, backup singerAlmamy Thiero, 1959-, percussionistOumar Traoré, 1959-, percussionistYaya Famenta, 1972-, percussionistMohamed Khalifa Thiero, 1959-, percussionist

Groupe Sogonikun, Wassoulou -- Groupe Sogonikun, WassoulouAmadou Diakité, 1941-, dancerBakary Diakité, 1979-, dancerKassoum Diakité, 1980-, dancerBrehima Diallo, 1973-, percussionistMamaourou Doumbia, 1979-, percussionistAlmamy Traoré, 1963-, percussionistKadiè Traoré, 1978-, singerDoussouba Traoré, singer

Kanaga de Mopti -- Kanaga de MoptiDjeliba Koné, 1953-, trumpetKaniba dit Demba Koné, 1965-, guitarIssa Koné, 1978-, guitarMaki Koné, 1958-, singerSada Traoré, 1978-, drummerSekou dit Tomi Koné, 1952-, saxophone, balafonBouraima Diabaté, 1961-, singerPapa Koné, 1966-, bass guitarMamadou Traoré, 1950-, band leaderSekou Diankoumba, 1948-, singer

Krin de Birgo, Kita -- Krin de Birgo, KitaDemba Sidibé, singer, calabashMooro Sidibé, djembeTenemba Diallo, 1988-, calabashBakary Sidibé, calabash, camale n'goni

Musical Storytellers -- Musical StorytellersMoctar Kone, 1945-, n'goni, MourdiahMamary Diabaté, 1943-, n'goni, Bamako

N'Goussoun, Koulikoro -- N'Goussoun, KoulikoroMariam Bagayoko, 1952-, singer, dancerDjéneba Bagayoko, 1978-, chorus singerDognan Coulibaly, 1975-, balafonAlou Diarra, 1975-, balafon

Néba Solo Group, Sikasso -- Néba Solo Group, SikassoSouleymane Traoré (Néba Solo), 1969-, balafonYacouba Traoré, 1963-, keregneSiaka Traoré, 1971-, balafonOumar Coulibaly, 1971-, percussionZantien Gonsogo, 1959-, percussionMahamadou Traoré, 1976-, percussionBocary Dembélé, dancerIbrahim Dembélé, 1974-, dancer

Oumou Sangaré, Wassoulou -- Oumou Sangaré, WassoulouOumou Sangaré, 1968-, lead vocalsSaya Kouyaté, 1973-, singer, dancerZoumana Tereta, 1963-, sokou (traditional violin)Abdoulaye Fofana, 1954-, fluteNabintou Diakité, 1972-, singer, dancerMouneissa Tandina, 1964-, drummerSalah Baba, 1974-, guitarHamane Touré, 1964-, bassOusmane Haidara, 1954-, managerBrehima Diakité, 1965-, camale n'goniCheikh Oumar Diabaté, 1968-, djembeAlama Diakite, yabara (percussion)

Salif Keita, Bamako -- Salif Keita, BamakoSalif Keita, 1949-, lead vocals, guitarDjely Moussa Kouyaté, electric guitarHarouna Samaké, camale n'goniDrissa Bagayoko, djembeMamadou Kone, calabashAdama Kouyaté, tamaSouleymane Doumbia, African congasSouleyman Kouyaté, n'goniAbdoulaye Diabaté, keyboardsAminata Doumbia, 1976-, background vocalsAssitan Diarra, background vocalsJean-Marie Avisse, technical crewIsabel Bonvalet, technical crewTimor Cardenas, technical crewJohnson Mensah, technical crewDavid Lunardelli, technical crew

Tabital Pulaku, Mopti -- Tabital Pulaku, MoptiBoureima Dicko, 1947-, fluteDinda Sarré, 1958-, n'goniGabdo Cissé, 1978-, dancerGoro Hamadoun, 1971-, calabashAminata Coulibaly, dancerHamadoun Biga Cissé, drumYehia Dicko, violinAlima Barry, dancerAminata Salmana Traoré, singer

Tartit, Kel Antessar -- Tartit, Kel AntessarMohamed Aly Ansar, leaderIssa Amanou, n'goniMohamed Issa Ag Oumar, n'goniIdwal Ag Mohamed, n'goniFatoumata Walett Mohomadoun, dancerTafa Walett Alhousseini, violinFatoumata HaidaraZeinabu Walett Oumar, tende

PUPPETRY

Yaya Coulibaly, 1957-, puppeteer, Bamako

CRAFT TRADITIONS

Fatoumata Maiga, 1961-, carding, Ségou

Aminata Keita, 1983-, spinning, Ségou

Ousmane Sarré, 1969-, cotton weaving, Badalabougou

Kola Kassé, 1944-, wool weaving, Mopti

Nakounté Diarra, -- bogolan -- , mudcloth, Kolokani

Founemousso Sakiliba, 1940-, -- bogolan -- , mudcloth, Bamako

Ousmane Ganame, 1942-, indigo-dyeing, Bandiagara

Tantou Sambaké, modern tie-dyeing, Bamako

Aminata Sacko, 1961-, modern tie-dyeing, Bamako

Sanounou Bathily, fabric finishing, Bamako

Ousmane Traoré, 1947-, hand embroidery, Djenne

Sekou Touré, machine embroidery, Bamako

Dikourou Diarrah Traoré, fashion design, Dou Couture, Bamako

Sambou Fané, fashion design, Bamako

Kasobane Design Group, Bamako -- Kasobane Design Group, BamakoKandioura Coulibaly, fashion designKlétigui Dembélé, fashion design

Style Movement Consultants Models -- Style Movement Consultants ModelsStephanie Alexander, Toya Brown, Terraria Chase, Maria Dennard, Tanisha Dodson, Alyssa Grannum, Torye Hurt, Viola Iso-Hola, Evan Jones, Sean Majors, Darlena Perry, Darletra Perry, Angela Tilghman, Latonya Tilghman, Nila Zachman

Malian Association Models -- Malian Association ModelsRokiatou Ba, Aminata Amy Cissé, Boubacar Cissé, Djeneba Djenny Diakité, Aichatou Keita, Hawa Keita, Kadiatou Koné, Djingareye M. Lawani, Adam A. Ouologuem, Assetou Traoré, Fanta Traoré

Alassane Ag Agaly, 1973-, Tuareg jewelry, Gao

Amadou Samasekou, 1955-, Tuareg jewelry, Mopti

Hady Koné, 1967-, modern jewelry, Bamako

Mamadou Gueye Thiam, modern jewelry, Kayes

Kassim Ballo, 1961-, blacksmithing, Bamako

Mohamed Ag Iknane, 1964-, blacksmithing, Gao

Kadidia Nienta, 1975-, pottery, Mopti

Almadane Traoré, 1939-, straw jewelry, Timbuktu

Fatoumata Gariko, 1958-, straw jewelry, Hombori, Mopti region

Halimatou Abouba, mat-weaving, Gao

Tago Walet Mémé, 1956-, leather work, Timbuktu

Fadiala Dembelé, 1953-, modern leather work, Bamako

Tairou Soumbounou, shoemaking, Bamako

Mody Cissoko, 1959-, wood sculpture, Bamako

ARTS OF ADORNMENT

Kadidia Ouologuem, 1963-, hairdressing, Bamako

Soumata Sidi, 1964-, hairdressing, Gao

Aminata Doumbia, 1976-, henna artistry. Bamako

Korotoumo Ouattara, 1948-, shea butter extraction, Sikasso

TRADITIONAL MEDICINE

Toumani Diakité, 1966-, Bamako

FOODWAYS TRADITIONS

Ami Sow

Kadiatou Sow Traoré, 1955-

Halimatou Touré

Kadia Souko

Fatoumata Sissoko Cissé

Koumba Kanté

Mariam Diarra

Aissa Touré Alhamafi, 1955-

Maimouna Coulibaly Camara

ARCHITECTURE TRADITIONS

Baba Cissé, architect

Boubacar Mady Diallo, architect

Alassane Hasseye, 1942-, master mason

Boubacar Kouroumanse, master mason

Manhamane dit Berre Yanou, 1936-, master mason

Almoudou Baigna, master mason

Alhousseini Ag Tajoudine, 1963-, Tuareg tent

Sekou Tientao, mason

Mandedeou Tanapo, mason

Mamoudou Kontao, mason

Oumar Yonou, mason

Agaly Ousmane, mason

Baba Touré, mason

Ahamadou Hasseye, mason

Adoulahi Albaidja, mason
Collection Restrictions:
Access by appointment only. Where a listening copy or viewing copy has been created, this is indicated in the respective inventory; additional materials may be accessible with sufficient advance notice and, in some cases, payment of a processing fee. Older papers are housed at a remote location and may require a minimum of three weeks' advance notice and payment of a retrieval fee. Certain formats such as multi-track audio recordings and EIAJ-1 videoreels (1/2 inch) may not be accessible. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at 202-633-7322 or rinzlerarchives@si.edu for additional information.
Collection Rights:
Copyright and other restrictions may apply. Generally, materials created during a Festival are covered by a release signed by each participant permitting their use for personal and educational purposes; materials created as part of the fieldwork leading to a Festival may be more restricted. We permit and encourage such personal and educational use of those materials provided digitally here, without special permissions. Use of any materials for publication, commercial use, or distribution requires a license from the Archives. Licensing fees may apply in addition to any processing fees.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
CFCH.SFF.2003, Series 3
See more items in:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Archival Repository:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-cfch-sff-2003-ref26

Elayne Zorn Collection

Source:
Cutipa Lima, Juan de Dios  Search this
California Academy of Sciences. Anthropology Department  Search this
Textile Museum (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Author:
Zorn, Elayne  Search this
Names:
American Anthropological Association  Search this
Brooklyn Museum of Art  Search this
University of Central Florida. Department of Sociology & Anthropology  Search this
Cahlander, Adele  Search this
Former owner:
California Academy of Sciences. Anthropology Department  Search this
Textile Museum (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Cutipa Lima, Juan de Dios  Search this
Extent:
1,474 Photographic prints
11526 Negatives (photographic)
10 Videocassettes
11 Linear feet
57 Sound recordings (57 cassette tapes.)
11412 Slides (photographs)
Culture:
Quechua  Search this
Aymara  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographic prints
Negatives (photographic)
Videocassettes
Sound recordings
Slides (photographs)
Negatives
Research
Audiocassettes
Writings
Field notes
Place:
Sacaca (Bolivia)
Potosí (Bolivia : Dept.) -- Description and travel.
Puno (Peru : Dept.)
Andes Region -- Economic integration.
Taquili (Peru) -- Economic conditions
Peru
Taquili (Peru) -- Social life and customs
Date:
1971-2010
Summary:
The Elayne Zorn Collection measures 11 linear feet and contains thousands of photographic objects including negatives, slides and prints. The collection material spans the years of Zorn's professional and student activity in the fields of anthropology and Latin American studies from around 1975 until 2010. The material in this collection reflects Zorn's long association with the community in Taquile, Peru which led up to the publication of her book, Weaving a Future, in 2004. Zorn also spent a significant amount of time conducting field research in Andean communities in Bolivia examining the relationships between tourism and textiles. Zorn's additional professional activities included serving as a textile collector and expert advisor for museum collections and exhibitions as well as performing academic duties at the University of Central Florida.
Scope and Contents:
The Elayne Zorn Collection spans the years of Zorn's professional and student activity in the fields of anthropology and Latin American studies from 1975 until 2010. This includes material from Zorn's field research in the Andean Regions of Peru and Bolivia as well as her professional activities as a textile collector and expert advisor for museum collections and exhibitions. This collection is arranged into six series with additional subseries. Series 1, Field Research, includes field notebooks, correspondence, and general research from Taquile, Peru, Sakaka, Bolivia and La Paz, Bolivia. Series 2, Professional Activities, includes presentation and lecture notes, object catalogs for various museum collections and Zorn's academic work conducted at the University of Central Florida. Series 3, Publications and Writings, contains both articles written by Zorn, including her Master's thesis and dissertation, and articles published by colleagues. Series 4, Ephemera and Miscellaneous, contains a variety of materials including posters, postcards, datebooks and calendars as well as material gathered by Zorn's former husband, Juan Cutipa. Series 5, Photographs, includes negatives, slides, prints and digital media that document Zorn's work in the field. The bulk of the photographs capture the daily lives of weavers as well as important community holidays and festivals. Series 6, Audio-Visual Materials, includes a small amount of VHS tapes as well as audio-cassettes on which Zorn recorded traditional Andean music performed at festivals she attended in Peru and Bolivia.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Field Research, 1975-2006

Subseries 1.1: Taquile, Peru, 1975-1994 [1977-1981]

Subseries 1.2: Sakaka, Bolivia, 1985-1994

Subseries 1.3: La Paz, Bolivia, 2006

Subseries 1.4: Miscellaneous Field Notes, 1976-2006

Series 2: Professional Activities, 1978-2010

Subseries 2.1: Conferences and Presentations, 1977-2009

Subseries 2.2: Museum Work, 1976-2008

Subseries 2.3: General, 1976-2010

Series 3: Publications and Writings, 1979-2009

Subseries 3.1: Elayne Zorn, 1979-2009

Subseries 3.2: Other Authors, 1979-2005

Series 4: Ephemera and Miscellaneous, 1975-2009

Series 5: Photographs, 1970-2006

Subseries 5.1: Negatives, 1976-1997

Subseries 5.2: Slides, 1970-2002

Subseries 5.3: Prints, 1978-2000

Subseries 5.4: Digital Media, 2002-2006

Series 6: Audio-Visual Materials, 1983-1994

Subseries 6.1: Cassette Tapes, 1983-1991

Subseries 6.2: Videotapes, 1991-1994
Biographical / Historical:
Elayne Leslie Zorn was born on February 3, 1952 in New York City. She attended Hunter College High School and Barnard College. She received her Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree in Textile Arts from the California College of the Arts in 1975. She then began a long association with the community on the Island of Taquile, in the Puno region of Peru, conducting fieldwork on native weaving techniques. She also began a long-term affiliation with the Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore in La Paz, Bolivia and collected textiles in the Macusani region of Peru for an exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. She received her Master's degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas, Austin in 1983, with fieldwork concentrated on economic development and tourism in Taquile, Peru. During her time in Peru in the 1970's and 1980's, Zorn became an accomplished musician, playing the charango and Bolivian mandolin in performances in Andean towns as well as in New York City. Zorn resumed graduate studies in 1985 at Cornell University where she received her Master of Arts degree in anthropology in 1987 followed by her Ph.D. in 1997. At Cornell she worked under the supervision of Professor Billie Jean Isbell and conducted much of her dissertation fieldwork in Sakaka, Bolivia focusing on the global transformation of cloth and identity in highland Andean regions. Zorn worked as a visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Colgate University from 1997 to 1998 and then hired as Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida from 1998 until 2010. While at the University of Central Florida, Zorn received both teaching-related and research-related awards as well as grants to continue her fieldwork in the Andean regions of Peru and Bolivia. She also co-directed the PeruVine/PeruDigital Project, an interactive and immersive website to present field data from Peru's Institute of Ethnomusicology online. In 2004 Zorn published her book, Weaving a Future: Tourism, Cloth and Culture on an Andean Island (University of Iowa Press), an analysis of textile traditions as it relates to global change.

In addition to her academic duties, throughout her career Zorn collaborated with various museums and cultural institutions as a consultant and collector. These included, but are not limited to, The Brooklyn Museum, The Textile Museum, Smithsonian Center for Folklife Programs, UNICEF and the Inter-American Foundation. She was also a member of various professional societies including the American Anthropological Association, the Bolivian Studies Association, the Society for Latin American, Carribean, and Latino Studies as well as the Textile Society of America. Zorn passed away June 15, 2010 and was survived by her mother, Sandra Gordon, and her son, Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn.

Sources: http://anthropology.cos.ucf.edu/include/file/people/cv/zorn_elayne.pdf (Accessed May 01, 2012) http://digitalethnography.dm.ucf.edu/pv/Zorn.html (Accessed May 1, 2012)
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn, Elayne Zorn's son in April of 2011.
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:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Tourism -- Andes Region  Search this
Women weavers -- Social life and customs -- Photographs  Search this
Festivals -- Bolivia -- Potosí  Search this
Textile fabrics -- Andes Region  Search this
Genre/Form:
Negatives
Research
Slides (photographs)
Audiocassettes
Writings
Field notes
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Collection Title, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.022
See more items in:
Elayne Zorn Collection
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-022
Online Media:

The Historical Records of the Barnett-Aden Gallery

Creator:
Barnett-Aden Gallery  Search this
Names:
Anacostia Community Museum  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Howard University  Search this
Howard University. Gallery of Art  Search this
Aden, Alonzo J., 1906-1963  Search this
Asher, Lila Oliver  Search this
Driskell, David C.  Search this
Ealey, Adolphus  Search this
Greene, Carroll  Search this
Herring, James V. (James Vernon)  Search this
Johnson, Robert L., 1946 April 8-  Search this
Lazzari, Pietro, 1898-1979  Search this
Long, Richard, 1945-  Search this
Porter, James A. (James Amos), 1905-1970  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962  Search this
Spellman, Gladys Noon  Search this
Thomas, Alma  Search this
Wells, James Lesesne, 1902-1993  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet
Culture:
African American artists  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Ephemera
Catalogues
Business records
Place:
Washington (D.C.)
South Carolina
Date:
1954-1989
bulk 1961-1977
Summary:
The Historical Records of the Barnett-Aden Gallery showcases one of the first galleries owned and operated by African Americans. The work of the Gallery was invaluable as they opened the exhibition space to established and unknown artists regardless of race or gender.
Scope and Contents:
The Historical Records of Barnett-Aden Gallery collection includes historical background materials on the gallery, its founders James V. Herring and Alonzo Aden as well as Adolphus Ealey, its steward after its closure in 1969. The materials include correspondence, business records, photographs, exhibition catalogues, and clippings.
Arrangement:
The materials in this collection have been kept at the folder level and separated into four series. The materials have been ordered and organized based on the content. Within each series and subseries, the folders are organized as close to the collection's original order as when it was acquired.
Historical Sketch:
The Barnett-Aden Gallery, suggested to be the first African American privately-owned gallery in the U.S, open its doors on October 16, 1943. The gallery was founded by artist and scholar James V. Herring alongside his protegee, curator Alonzo Aden. The gallery was housed in a private home that they shared, located on 127 Randolph Street NW in Washington, DC. These men aimed to create an art gallery that provided a venue for underrepresented artists of all races and genres. It was this partnership that laid the foundation for the shift in African American representation in modern art. Aden stated that the gallery's aims were to help foster new talent while also bringing "art of superior quality" to the community. Throughout its history, the gallery held almost 200 exhibitions and showcased the work of over 400 artists.

James Vernon Herring was born on January 7, 1887 in Clio, South Carolina to an African American mother, Alice Herring (1860-1942), and white father, William Culbreth. As a young man, he moved to Washington, DC for better educational opportunities. Herring was educated at the Howard Academy, a preparatory high school located at nearby Howard University campus. Herring received his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and completed graduate studies at Columbia and Harvard Universities. Trained in art and classical studies with a focus on French impressionism, Herring was initially brought on Howard University's faculty as architecture instructor in 1920. This experience inspired Herring to create the Department of Art at the university where he convinced former home economics student and future prominent visual artist, Alma Thomas to be the art school's first graduate in 1924. Herring continued to mentor and discover young artists as was the case with Alonzo Aden.

Alonzo Aden was born on May 6, 1906 in Spartanburg, South Carolina to Naomi Barnett (1883-1956) and Ephraim Aden (1859-1917). His working-class parents wanting more for their eldest son, decided to send him to live with relatives in Washington, DC for greater educational opportunities. Aden did well academically and completed some studies at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) before finally entering Howard University in 1927. The following year, Herring opened the Howard University Gallery of Art and installed Aden as its first curator. Aden initially pursued a career as an educator but became more interested in art history and after his graduation from Howard in 1933, he pursued studies in museum and curatorial work.

Recent scholarship has suggested that Herring and Aden were in a romantic as well as working relationship. Working together in the Howard Gallery of Art, they sought to provide a space for art students, local artists and other relatively unknown artists from around the world. Living together since 1929, Herring supported Aden's post-graduate pursuits including his studies of African arts and crafts in galleries across Europe as well as his curatorial work at the American Negro Exposition in Chicago in 1940. Aden returned to Washington to great acclaim and continued his work with Herring at the Howard Gallery of Art.

The Gallery was housed in a Victorian townhouse located in the then middle-class African American neighborhoods of LeDroit Park and Logan Circle (present-day Bloomingdale). Research notes that the house was purchased during the late 1920s by Herring with some assistance of artist Alma Thomas (or vice versa). Both were listed as owners of the property until 1933 when Aden was listed as the co-owner. In 1943, Aden resigned as head of the Howard Gallery for unknown reasons which led Herring and Aden to open a gallery in their home. The gallery was named after Aden's mother Naomi, who also served as an early benefactor of the gallery giving $1,000 in support. It was the support of various benefactors alongside Herring's salary as a Howard professor and Aden's several "government jobs" that kept the gallery afloat during its time in the home. The first floor of the gallery consisted entirely of exhibition space with the second-floor space interchanged between exhibition, study, and living spaces over the years. Herring's library, also located on the upper floors, was used for research by students and local scholars. Herring and Aden never saw the gallery as a truly profitable venture but instead wanted to offer avenues for the artists to showcase their work. As policy, each artist retained all money earned from sales but were required to donate at least one work of art to the Barnett-Aden collection.

The gallery, the first of its kind in Washington at the time, exhibited works of artists regardless of race; African American artists displayed alongside their more notable white peers. Notable artists featured in the gallery include Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, and M.C. Escher were exhibited alongside notable African American artists Richmond Barthé, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Charles White, Selma Burke as well as many others. Several Howard professors who went on to have notable art careers also exhibited their work at the gallery including James Porter, Lois Mailou Jones, and James Lesesne Wells. Many of the artists featured in the gallery were also greatly involved in the operations. Alma Thomas served gallery's vice president before she began exhibiting her work there in 1950s. Artist and scholar, David Driskell served as the associate director of the gallery after Aden's death.

The gallery held five to eight exhibitions every year including a special annual anniversary exhibition. In 1944, the gallery opened a show featuring Brazilian modern artist, Candido Portinari, who had previously completed a mural at the Library of Congress, that sparked great interest at the gallery. The exhibition opening brought in visitors from all over Washington including members of the president's cabinet, foreign ambassadors and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. This renewed interest created a somewhat hectic pace in keeping up with the work of the gallery. This pace coupled with the full-time jobs and other ventures including a gift shop enabled the gallery to act as a luminary of the African American and local arts community in Washington.

In 1961, while preparing for the annual anniversary exhibition, Alonzo Aden died suddenly. Herring with aid of his friends and students took on the management of the gallery after his partner's death but was unable to keep the pace of Aden's work and the attendance declined. In 1969, Herring died in the home leaving behind a formidable legacy. The home and its contents including the gallery's art collection was sold in order to settle the debts of Herring's estate. The collection was divided amongst three individuals. Artist and former Herring student, Adolphus Ealey inherited the bulk of the collection that featured 250 significant works. Herring's books, graphic drawings, and prints were given to Herring associate and friend, Dr. Felton J. Earls, while the sculptures went to art collectors and friends Dr. and Mrs. Cecil Marquez.

The portion of the collection owned by Ealey was described as the preeminent selection from the gallery's collection. The size and ongoing upkeep of the collection was significant which caused the collection to be moved several times over the years. The collection which out of necessity was originally stored in Ealey's Southwest Washington apartment then moved a to a house in LeDroit Park and then to another space in the Washington neighborhood of Fort Lincoln. Ealey collaborated with colleagues and institutions to have it exhibited in various locations but also bid to find the collection a permanent home. During the 1970s, the collection was featured at the Museum of Afro-American Culture and History in Philadelphia, the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum (now the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum) and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Unable to find an institutional home for the collection, Ealey was forced to sell the collection in 1989 to the Florida Endowment Fund for Higher Education. Ealey stipulated that collection must remain intact but also that the new owners had to develop educational and outreach programs focused on African Americans in the arts. Failing to find consistent opportunities to exhibit the collection, the owners were forced to sell the collection. In 1998, Robert L. Johnson, then chairman and founder of the television channel, Black Entertainment Television (BET), purchased the collection. The collection went on a national tour then was displayed for some time at the BET headquarters in Washington. In 2015, Johnson donated selections from the gallery collection to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in an effort to preserve the legacy of the Barnett-Aden Gallery and the tireless work of James V. Herring and Alonzo Aden for generations to come.

Historical Timeline

1897 -- James Vernon Herring was born January 7 in Clio, South Carolina.

1906 -- Alonzo James Aden was born May 6 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

1914-1916 -- While attending Syracuse University, Herring taught summer classes at Wilberforce University in Ohio for two summers.

1917 -- Herring graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelors of Pedagogy in Art degree.

1917-1920 -- Herring served as YMCA secretary for the YMCA in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and then Camp Lee, Virginia. Herring also held teaching positions at Straight College in New Orleans and Bennett College in North Carolina

1920 -- Alonzo was sent to Washington, D.C. to live with his uncle, James Aden, and his wife Laura.

1921 -- Herring was initially hired as architectural drawing instructor at Howard University and after negotiations established Department of Art later that same year.

1927 -- Herring organized an exhibition of Howard U. students' artwork that toured the Deep South U.S. Aden enrolled in Howard University in pursuit of an education degree.

1930 -- The Howard University Gallery of Art formally opened on April 7. Aden was hired as gallery assistant.

1933 -- Aden received his Bachelor of Arts in Education; Herring added Aden's name as co-owner of the 127 Randolph Place home.

1934-1939 -- Aden engaged in post-graduate study and museum curatorial work around the U.S. and Europe.

1940 -- Aden served as art curator for the American Negro Exposition (the "Negro's World Fair") in Chicago

1943 -- Aden resigned his position at the Howard University Gallery of Art for undisclosed reasons. The Barnett-Aden Gallery was founded by James V. Herring and Alonzo Aden. The first exhibition, "American Paintings for the Home" featured Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones, Malvin Gray Johnson, James Lesesne Wells, Jacob Lawrence, and many others.

1944 -- First anniversary exhibition featuring artist Candido Portinari, Brazilian artist who was already known in Washington from his mural for the Library of Congress. It was attended by the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. Exhibition, "The Negro in Art" and "American Paintings for the Home" featuring Catlett, James A. Porter, Wells, Jones, Richmond Barthé, Hale Woodruff, Betsy Graves Reyneau and others.

1946 -- Exhibition, "Paintings by Lois Mailou Jones" and featured paintings of Jacob Lawrence for Third Anniversary exhibition.

1947 -- Fourth Anniversary Exhibition, "Recent Paintings by Charles White". Exhibition of Elizabeth Catlett, "Paintings, Sculpture, and Prints of The Negro Woman".

1948 -- Exhibition, "Paintings and Drawings by James A. Porter".

1949 -- Exhibition, "Sylvia Carewe".

1950 -- "Exhibition of Six Washington Artists" featuring Romare Bearden, Samuel Bookatz, Bernice Cross, Robert Gates, Norma Mazo, and James A. Porter. "Exhibition "Paintings and Prints by James Lesesne Wells."

1951 -- Exhibition, "Three Washington Artists" featuring Richard Dempsey, Sam Herman, and Jack Perlmutter Exhibition, "Herman Maril: Paintings in Retrospect, 1931-1951"

1953 -- Tenth Anniversary Exhibition, "Eighteen Washington Artists" featuring Sarah Baker, Samuel Bookatz, William Calfee, Bernice Cross, Robert Franklin Gates, Jacob Kainen, Marjorie Phillips, James Porter, and James Lesesne Wells.

1954 -- Exhibition "Six Washington Painters" featuring Theresa Abbott, Gabriel Cherin, Gloria Besser Green, Alma W. Thomas, and Anita Wertheim.

1955 -- Twelfth anniversary exhibition focused on "Jack Perlmutter".

1957 -- Exhibition, "David C. Driskell: Exhibition of Paintings"

1958 -- Exhibition "Norman Lewis: Paintings"

1959 -- Sixteenth Anniversary Exhibition of "Paintings by Pietro Lazzari, Helen Rennie, Alma Thomas, Andrea De Zerega". Exhibition of "Religious Paintings and Prints by James L. Wells and Sculpture by Selma Burke"

1962 -- Alonzo Aden died suddenly at the age of 56 on October 13 in Washington D.C. Herring solely inherits the Gallery collection.

1969 -- Herring dies at age 84 in Washington, DC. on May 29. Artist Adolphus Ealey inherits the bulk of the gallery collection along with Dr. Felton J. Earls and Dr. and Mrs. Cecil Marquez.

1974 -- Two exhibitions of the collection at the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

1989 -- Collection sold to Florida Endowment Fund for Higher Education.

1998 -- Robert Johnson, founder and former CEO of Black Entertainment Television (BET) purchased the entire collection and serves as administrators over the collection.
Provenance:
Acquired through a purchase by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Access to collection materials requires an appointment.
Rights:
The NMAAHC Archives can provide reproductions of some materials for research and educational use. Copyright and right to publicity restrictions apply and limit reproduction for other purposes.
Topic:
Photographs  Search this
Art  Search this
Business  Search this
LGBTQ  Search this
Museums  Search this
Painting, American  Search this
Galleries  Search this
Education  Search this
finance  Search this
Local and Regional  Search this
HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Ephemera
Catalogues
Business records
Citation:
Historical Records of the Barnett-Aden Gallery, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.A2014.63.32
See more items in:
The Historical Records of the Barnett-Aden Gallery
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmaahc-a2014-63-32

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master 37 video cassettes with timecode (18.5 hours) sound color VHS
archival original 37 video casettes (18.5 hours) sound color SVHS
Culture:
Otavalo Indians  Search this
Type:
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Collection descriptions
Place:
Andes Region
South America
Ecuador
Date:
1995
Topic:
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Author:
Exell, Karen  Search this
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Physical description:
xx, 188 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Arabian Peninsula
Date:
2016
Topic:
Museums  Search this
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Historic preservation  Search this
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AM79.4 .M885 2016
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Smithsonian Libraries
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Physical description:
x, 220 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Ghana
Central Region
Date:
1996
Topic:
Tourism  Search this
Economic policy  Search this
Call number:
G155.G4 A39 1996
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Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
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201 p. ; 24 cm
Type:
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Andes Region
Date:
2005
C2005
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xx, 312 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm
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Books
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Place:
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Date:
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Topic:
Human geography--Congresses  Search this
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History  Search this
Social conditions  Search this
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xii, 238 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
2010
Topic:
Heritage tourism  Search this
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Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
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vii, 210 pages ; 24 cm
Type:
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Place:
Caribbean Area
Date:
2006
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Environmental policy  Search this
Environmentalism  Search this
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EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1063347

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