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Thursday, April 1, 2021

New Virtual Finding Aids for Three Smithsonian Institution Anthropology Collections

By Katherine Christensen

In addition to collections which were maintained and donated by individual scientists, the National Anthropological Archives (NAA) holds collections created and maintained by anthropology departments and divisions within the Smithsonian Institution and for projects conducted by those departments. This post covers three of those collections, whose finding aids have recently been made available through the Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives (SOVA).


The Department of Anthropology records

Staff of the Department of Anthropology, United States National Museum, 1904, standing in front of the Arts and Industries Building. Standing from left to right: Edwin H. Hawley, G. C. Maynard, Alěs Hrdlička, Thomas W. Sweeney, Walter Hough, H. W. Hendley, Richard A. Allen, E. P. Upham, Paul Beckwith, Immanuel M. Casanowicz, and J. Palmer. Seated from left to right: Miss Malone and Miss Louisa A. Rosenbusch. SIA-NAA-42012-000002 Smithsonian Institution Archives.

There have been a number of incarnations of the Department of Anthropology through the years as the Smithsonian Institution and its component museums restructured. These include the Section of Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution, the Division of Anthropology of the United States National Museum, the Office of Anthropology of the National Museum of Natural History, and the Department of Anthropology of the National Museum of Natural History. This collection holds papers and photographs generated by the department and its members in each of these forms.


Staff of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), 1931. Seated (L. to R.): T. Dale Stewart, Frank M. Setzler, Neil M. Judd, Walter Hough, Aleš Hrdlička, Herbert W. Krieger, Henry B. Collins. Standing (L. to R.): Charles Terry, William H. Short, Richard A. Allen, George D. McCoy, William H. Egberts, Richard G. Paine, W. H. Bray, Leta B. Loos, and Helen E. Heckler. SIA-MNH-18107A, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

The department was originally focused primarily on collections care and fieldwork as a means of growing the collections, while research was conducted by the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE). In the 1950s the department shifted to a greater emphasis on research, leading to a merge with the BAE in 1965 in order to eliminate redundancy.1 The Department of Anthropology collection holds some archival materials related to the BAE, such as documents from the River Basin Surveys, but the majority of the BAE’s materials are housed within the Bureau of American Ethnology records.


Staff of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), October 29, 1959. Top row (left to right): Saul Reisenberg, Cliff Evans, Robert A. Elder, George Metcalf(?), Joseph Andrews, and unidentified man; second row (left to right): Neil Judd, Eugene Knez, Robert G. Jenkins, G. Robert Lewis, George Phebus (?), and Gus Van Beek (?) ; third row (left to right): Gordon Gibson, T. Dale Stewart, unidentified man, unidentified man, and Waldo Wedel; and bottom row (left to right): Willie Mae Pelham, Jeraldine M. Whitmore, unidentified woman, unidentified woman, Mildred Wedel (?), and Betty Meggers. Smithsonian Institution Archives.

The collection primarily contains institutional records, rather than records of the research conducted by the department’s members. The papers of many members of the department through its long history have been transferred to the NAA, so there are numerous other collections2 which contain materials relating to the activities of the department. There are additional departmental materials in the Smithsonian Institution Archives.


Staff of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), 2007. Top row (left to right): Chris Dudar, Bill Billeck, Doug Ubelaker, Mike Frank, Randal Scott, Eric Hollinger, Christopher Parker, Bruno Froilich, Sarah Zabriskie, and Dave Hunt; second row (left to right):  Kim Neutzling, Gail Solomon, Carrie Beauchamp, Bob Laughlin, Mary Jo Arnoldi, Lynn Snyder, Paulina Ledergerber-Crespo, Ron Bishop, Jim Krakker, Rob Leopold, and Dave Rosenthal; third row (left to right): Bruce Bernstein, Cheri Botic, Bill Crocker, Nancy Shorey, Pam Wintle, Stephanie Christensen, Jai Alterman, Jim Blackman, and Don Ortner; fourth row (left to right): Georgia O’Reilly, Bill Fitzhugh, Cindy Wilczak, Noel Broadbent, Paul Michael Taylor, Vyrtris Thomas, unidentified woman, Lorain Wang, Daisy Njoku, Christie Leece, Roy (Chip) Clark, and Mark White; fifth row (left to right): Don Tesoro, Ruth Selig, unidentified woman, Cesare Marino, P. Ann Kaupp, Carmen Eyzaguirre, unidentified man, and Jim Haug; sixth row (left to right):  Kari Bruwelhide, Paula Cardwell, Betty Meggers, Bill Merrill, and Stephen Loring; seventh row (left to right): Jane Walsh, Barbara Watanabe, Laurie Burgess, Ruth Saunders, Candace Greene, and Risa Arbolino; eighth row (left to right): Doug Owsley, Jake Homiak, Dennis Stanford, Letitia Rorie, Rick Potts, Jennifer Clark, and Carole Lee Kin; and ninth row (left to right): Erica Jones, Dan Rogers, Deloris Walker, Peggy Jodry, Zee Payne, JoAllyn Archambault, Joanna Scherer, and Felicia Pickering.


The Center for the Study of Man records

The Center for the Study of Man (CSM) was created in 1968 to apply anthropological knowledge to problems facing all mankind. In pursuit of this goal, the CSM organized meetings of established anthropologists with specific programs and brought researchers together into special task forces. The center additionally headed a number of programs, including an Urgent Anthropology Program (which granted funds to facilitate field work in and accumulate data on cultures that were rapidly changing under the pressure of modernization), an American Indian Program (which sought both to create the Handbook of North American Indians and to undertake action anthropology projects in conjunction with various Native American groups), the Research Institute on Immigration and Ethnic Studies (RIIES), and the National Anthropological Film Center (now the Human Studies Film Archive). The center also sought to create a Museum of Man, which would host exhibits devoted to anthropology and ecology. However, due to internal disagreements over the aims of this museum, the project was never approved. Beginning in 1976, the CSM was slowly phased out due to difficulties with funding and with melding the research goals of individual staff members with those of the center as a whole.


Center for the Study of Man meeting, May 19, 1970. From left to right: William C. Sturtevant, Robert M. Laughlin, Sol Tax, Sam Stanley, Mysore N. Srinivas, Douglas W. Schwartz, T. Dale Stewart, Fredrik Barth, Wilcomb E. Washburn, Laila Shukry El Hamamsy, George W. Stocking Jr., Surajit C. Sinha, Gordon D. Gibson, and Henry B. Collins. Center for the Study of Man records, Sam Stanley papers, Box 141.

The records of the CSM document several international CSM-sponsored conferences, including a planning meeting in Cairo in 1972, several pre-session conferences (on cannabis, alcohol, population, and the transmission of culture) at the Ninth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences in 1973, and a 1974 meeting at Bucharest on the cultural implications of population change. They also include records concerning an attempt to issue a series of monographs and the organization of special task forces concerned with questions of human fertility and the environment. Additionally, there is material pertaining to the action anthropology projects with Native Americans, focusing on economic development and including material relating to the coordination of studies of specific tribes carried out with funds from the Economic Development Administration and economic development consulting for the American Indian Policy Review Commission.


The Tulamniu CWA Project records


Beginning first cross trench north village midden mound. Tulamniu C.W.A. Project records, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

As part of his recovery plan for the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt created a variety of agencies whose goal was to provide work to the unemployed. Under the auspices of one of these, the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Smithsonian Institution sponsored a number of archaeological excavations around the United States. One of these, during the winter of 1933-1934, excavated four sites searching for the historic Tulamni Yokuts village of Tulamniu in Kern County, California.


Beginning survey baseline first trench. Tulamniu C.W.A. Project records, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

The project was headed by William Duncan Strong (whose papers were previously profiled on this blog) and recovered thousands of artifacts and, in keeping with the practices of the time period, many Native American burials. These artifacts and remains were shipped to the United States National Museum for study after the excavations were complete. The Smithsonian Institution began repatriations to U.S. tribes in 1982 and, in 2013, collections from the project were repatriated jointly to the Tule River Indian Tribe and the Santa Rosa Rancheria of Tachi Yokuts Indians; they were reburied at the Tule River Indian Reservation.3


Closeup of first trench in north village midden mound. Tulamniu C.W.A. Project records, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

The collection primarily contains correspondence, the field notes of the archaeologists, catalogs, maps, and charts.

 

Katherine Christensen
Contract Archivist
National Anthropological Archives
____________________________

1 For more information, see https://naturalhistory.si.edu/sites/default/files/media/file/history-anthropology-si_0.pdf

2 Some notable collections include the Betty J. Meggers and Clifford Evans papers, the Aleš Hrdlička papers, the Priscilla Reining papers, the Ralph S. and Rose L. Solecki papers, the Thomas Dale Stewart papers, the Matthew Williams Stirling and Marion Stirling Pugh papers, and the William C. Sturtevant papers.

3 See Repatriation Office Case Report Summaries California Region for more information. Accessed November 2, 2020. https://naturalhistory.si.edu/sites/default/files/media/file/case-reports-california-region-rev2-2020.pdf




Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Geneva Townes Turner

 By Jennifer Morris


Geneva Calcier Townes Turner married Lorenzo Dow Turner, a pioneering African American linguist and celebrated father of Gullah studies, who conducted groundbreaking research in the Sea Islands off the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia. Geneva worked as an unofficial research associate and scribe for her husband’s projects in the early years of his research. She participated in creating recordings of the Gullah people’s songs and dialect, and studied the international phonetic system at Brown University in order to better identify and transcribe Gullah speech. While her contributions to the formative years of Dr. Turner’s Gullah research were never fully acknowledged, she took pride in “sharing in his accomplishments.”

The couple separated after nineteen years of marriage, and Geneva went on to enjoy a successful career as an elementary school educator in Washington, DC.  She also collaboratively published and distributed two children’s books.                                  

KatieGrovener [Grovernor] Brown, Gullah Informant, Sapelo Island, Georgia, 1933



Parris and Rosa Capers, Gullah Informants, St. Helena Island, South Carolina, 1932 


SamPolite, Gullah Informant, St. Helena Island, South Carolina, 1932 

Jennifer Morris, Archivist

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Spotlight on Women Amateur Photographers No. 3

 By Pamela Wintle

"For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” Virginia Woolf

Mayme Lou Bruce, known as Stevey, was married to James Bruce, a prolific amateur filmmaker and explorer who had a particular interest in Melanesia but also filmed in other areas of the world.  As with other husband-and-wife teams, in the Human Studies Film Archives collections, we know that Stevey accompanied her husband and photographed their adventures. As is so often true, the full extent to which she contributed remains “anonymous.” 

Indonesia, ca. 1975, photograph by Stevey Bruce (James S. and Stevey Bruce Collection, sihsfa_2002_17_op_Indonesia75_026


Ecuador, 1976, photograph by Stevey Bruce (James S. and Stevey Bruce Collection, sihsfa_2002_17_op_Ecuador76_005)


Nepal, ca. 1968, photograph by Stevey Bruce (James S. and Stevey Bruce Collection, sihsfa_2002_17_op_Nepal68)

Pamela Wintle

Human Studies Film Archives

Friday, March 19, 2021

Spotlight on Women Amateur Photographers, No. 2

 By Pamela Wintle

“The rule seemed to be that a great woman must either die unwed ... or find a still greater man to marry her. ... The great man, on the other hand, could marry where he liked, not being restricted to great women; indeed, it was often found sweet and commendable in him to choose a woman of no sort of greatness at all.”

― Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night (1935)

Anne Hansen married John V. Hansen, a Danish adventurer and accomplished amateur filmmaker, and fully participated in his journeys to various European countries, the American West, Alaska and Central America. We know that Anne Hansen served as the travel photographer, necessitating her own intrepid spirit and sense of adventure. We don’t know for certain if this is Anne Hansen with the rope tied around her waist, but one can imagine that it is she risking a perilous slide in order to witness a geologic feature. Below this image are two of her photographs from their many other travels.


Grinnel Glacier at fissure, Glacier National Park, Montana, ca. 1942, photograph by Anne Hansen
(John and Anne Hansen Collection, sihsfa_1999_10_op_americanwest_007)


Tikal Guatemala, 1968, photograph by Anne Hansen (John and Anne Hansen Collection, sihsfa_1999_10_mexico037)


Mendenhall Glacier, ca. 1945, Anne Hansen (John and Anne Hansen Collection sihsfa_1999_10_americanwest028)

Pamela Wintle





Monday, March 15, 2021

Spotlight on Women Amateur Photographers, No. 1

By Pamela Wintle 

“Not content with making sandwiches and massaging feet, these women were active both in the field and in post-production. They recorded sound, shot film, edited, wrote, narrated, co-hosted, and co-directed.”  Smithsonian Collections Blog: Women in the frame, March 23, 2010

The Human Studies Film Archives has a number of husband-and-wife collaborations in the collections, but rarely do we know the extent to which “these women” contributed.  However, in a few of these collections we do know that the woman in the team was the main still photographer in addition to many other duties!

These women were usually behind the camera, so photos of them in the field are rare. Thus, although we cannot see her face, we believe from images in the Hassoldt Davis collection that the photographer of the image below is Ruth Diawara (nee Staudinger, also formerly Ruth Rozaffi, Ruth Cadoret, Ruth Davis, and Ruth Schaffner, 1914-1996).  After her death, her personal slides and films documenting travels to Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and various African countries were discovered in a Los Angeles storage unit and donated to the Human Studies Film Archives.

    Mount Fuji, 1966, photographer unknown (Ruth Diawara Collection, sihsfa_2013_002_op_003)


    Japan, 1966, photograph by Ruth Diawara (Ruth Diawara Collection, sihsfa_2013_002_op_002)

Pamela Wintle






Monday, March 8, 2021

Celebrating Smithsonian Women in Women's History Month

By Pamela Henson

Smithsonian Institution Archives has a wide array of photographs of women since our early years, but some stand out more than others. I am particularly fond of this image of a group of women celebrating a retirement. Like the flowers Nellie Smith is holding, they are arranged like a bouquet of flowers themselves! But this is a group of very important women at SI in 1930 – they ran a lot of major offices. Louise Pearson moved with Alexander Wetmore to the Secretary’s Office when he became Secretary in 1944 and kept the Institution running. Miss Nellie Smith was replaced by Helena M. Weiss, who was later SI Registrar. When Weiss retired she was replaced by seven separate unit heads. Their titles don’t capture their responsibilities. Moodey was an “Aid” in Geology, but actually curated the gem collection for many years.  As “clerks” to the Institution’s top administrators, this select group of friends kept the Institution humming.

Luncheon for Nellie Smith, 31 July 1930, at the Ye Old Inn. Photograph Probably taken by Narcissus H. Smith, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7177, Box 13, Folder 16, neg. #SIA- 94-4431.
 
Image:  https://ids.si.edu/ids/deliveryService?id=SIA-94-4431  

This image is from a luncheon given by these friends in honor of the retirement of Miss Nellie H. Smith at Ye Old Inn on Thursday, July 31, 1930. She was appointed in March 1890 and spent 40 years at the Smithsonian. Top L to R: Louise A. Rosenbusch, Principal Clerk, Office of Dr. William H. Holmes, Director, National Gallery of Art, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Louise Pearson, Secretary to Dr. Alexander Wetmore, Assistant Secretary, SI (later the sixth Secretary of the Smithsonian, 1944-1952); and Narcissus Smith, Clerk to the Editor, Dr. M. Benjamin, United States National Museum (USNM). Bottom L to R: Helen A. Olmsted, Principal Clerk, Office of Mr. W. de C. Ravenel, Administrative Assistant to the Secretary, USNM; Nellie Smith, Clerk, Division of Correspondence and Documents, USNM; and Margaret W. Moodey, Aid, Geology in charge of Gem Collection, working for many years with G.P. Merrill, Head Curator, Department of Geology.

Pamela Henson, Ph.D., Historian, Smithsonian Libraries and Archives



Monday, March 1, 2021

Scurlock Photographs, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the NMAH Archives Center, Part 2

By David Haberstich 

The previous post described Robert Scurlock's unsuccessful attempts to publish or exhibit photographs by his father, Addison N. Scurlock, and the Scurlock Studio. This happy ending of the story is offered as an extension of  Black History Month into the first few days of March.

Dr. W.E.B. DuBois. Negative by Addison N. Scurlock, 1943.
Later print by Robert S. Scurlock. 14" x 11". Scurlock Studio Records, NMAH Archives Center.

Harry Lunn, the Corcoran Exhibition, and Jackie Onassis

Robert finally found an advocate in Harry H. Lunn, Jr., the charismatic and successful dealer of photographic art based in Washington. Lunn’s gallery, which flourished in several locations, was the premier gallery at a time when there were several other art dealers in Washington who sold photographs exclusively, riding the crest of the first few years of the new photography boom, which I date from 1967. Many historians credit Lunn as the single most important force in establishing photography as a collectible commodity as well as a serious field of academic study. Lunn, Kathleen Ewing, Marie Martin, Jo Tartt, and the Washington Gallery of Photography, operated by Byron and Mary Schumaker, were among the dealers who regularly exhibited and sold “vintage” and contemporary photography, at steadily increasing prices.  It was Lunn’s business acumen which finally helped to make Ansel Adams rich after decades of work as America’s best-known landscape photographer. At some point Robert Scurlock apparently approached Lunn, probably hoping the dealer would help to sell Scurlock photographs. I have found no evidence that Lunn ever sold or exhibited Scurlock photographs, but he encouraged and advised Robert in his quest for recognition. This was especially important for Robert, who was enmeshed in the world of commercial photography and apparently was unaware of the parallel world of contemporary photographic art, which was making gigantic inroads among art collectors and scholars and into museum collections. Despite Robert’s early interest in expanding his horizons beyond the studio-based, insular field of portrait and commercial photography by working as a photojournalist, he was a novice in approaching the new “art” photography and its norms, customs, and cast of influential characters. He wrote two letters on May 13, 1975, in which he noted that Lunn had suggested contacts. He wrote to Douglas Morgan of Morgan & Morgan, a well-known publisher of art photography books and technical texts. Apparently nothing came of this effort, although he met Morgan at a photographic conference and they discussed his proposal, as verified in his letter of September 30, 1975. His letter to Roy Slade, director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, however, finally bore fruit within a remarkably short period. He noted that Lunn had specifically suggested that an exhibition of Addison Scurlock’s work, especially his portraits of notable African Americans, could supplement an existing Bicentennial theme, already established by the Corcoran.   

Mid-Winter Assembly [of the NAACP], Baltimore, Maryland, 1912.
In the Corcoran exhibition and catalog, Robert Scurlock misidentified this photograph as "Formal Dance at Whitelaw Hotel, ca, 1923." Robert made a new 16" x 20" print for the exhibition from the original 8" x 10" glass plate negative. Scurlock Studio Records, NMAH Archives Center. 

With Slade’s blessing and enthusiastic support from the Corcoran’s chief curator, Jane Livingston (who was already especially interested in Black artists), and photography curator Frances Fralin, Robert arranged for an exhibition of his father’s photographs to begin in June 1976, as part of a series of “American Bicentennial” exhibitions sponsored by the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The Gallery previously had commissioned new work by eight noted (white) photographic artists of diverse styles as a Bicentennial theme. Apparently Lunn convinced the Corcoran curators to host an exhibition of Addison Scurlock’s photographs as an historical counterweight or adjunct to the new commissioned work. The actual arrangements seemed a little unusual, perhaps due to a tight schedule, with Robert himself ordering the printing of the catalog by Colortone Creative Printing on March 17, 1976. Fifteen “vintage” prints by Addison’s hand were the core of the exhibition, while Robert made more than one hundred new prints from his father’s negatives.

Robert now renewed his efforts to get a full-fledged book published in connection with the exhibition, and on March 3, 1976, wrote to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Viking Press in hopes that she would help her mentor from years ago. One of the Scurlock family’s favorite anecdotes concerns Jacqueline Bouvier’s short-term study at the Capitol School of Photography, which Robert and George managed out of the studio from 1948 to 1952. Citing her brief tenure as a student at the school, he wrote:

“Dear Mrs. Onassis,

“[It’s] been a long time but I presume you remember your former teacher of photography. (Jackie Bouvier – Times Herald days) Like many, I’ve followed your career very closely, and [it’s] nice to know that you are back in America and working for Viking Press. I would like to outline a coming event that is very important to me, and if possible, enlist your aid.

“This summer, The Corcoran Gallery will open an exhibit of 125 or so of my father’s photographs. He was a very skillful Camera Artist and probably the most important Black Photographer in the country. This will be a memorial exhibit and will include his portrait studies of people like Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Dubois [sic], Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Mary Bethune, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, James Weldon Johnson, Countee Cullen and many others.

“Publishing a photographic book of this material is one of my objectives, and in discussing the plans with Jane Livingston, Curator of the Corcoran, the thought occurred that just possibly Viking might be in a position to publish a catalog for us. We realize that time is very short since the exhibition is due for opening in mid-June, however it will be up most of the summer.”

I love the line, “Like many, I’ve followed your career very closely…” We don’t know how Jacqueline Onassis reacted to it—if she saw it. It might have provided a chuckle or two. This request for a major publisher to produce an exhibition catalogue or monograph on only a few months’ notice was unrealistic—even as a personal favor. An assistant at Viking Press wrote Robert to advise that scheduling a book to coincide with the exhibition was impossible. However, there was indeed a modest booklet produced by the Corcoran, basically an illustrated checklist with introductory text (by the reliable Michael Winston), almost identical in format to the publications which accompanied the exhibitions of the eight (white) photographers from whom new work had been commissioned, and identifying the Scurlock exhibition as a component of the Corcoran’s Bicentennial series, “The Nation’s Capital in Photographs, 1976.” Ironically, a copy of this free booklet was recently advertised online at a price of nearly one thousand dollars.

Adopting a more modest goal, on June 21, 1976, Robert wrote to the editor of Studio Light, a Kodak publication, suggesting a story on the exhibition. On July 15 he sent a copy of the 24-page catalog to Cassie Furgurson at Time magazine, requesting a story. On July 26 he wrote to inform African American Congressman Charles Rangel about the exhibition, seeking assistance for publicity. Unfortunately, these efforts did not pay off. 

However, there were gratifying outside contributions toward the exhibition. Robert wrote to the Independence Federal Savings & Loan Association on July 28 to thank “Mr. Fitzgerald” for “financial support given to the Corcoran gallery” in mounting the exhibition. The exhibition included a variety of subjects, but concentrated on portraits of African American leaders of international, national, and local renown. It even included several of his photographs of Black entertainers wearing blackface (represented in the catalog), which apparently were not considered controversial at the time.

Picnic Group, Highland Beach, Md. Original negative by Addison N. Scurlock, ca. 1931-1932.
New print for Corcoran exhibition by Robert S. Scurlock, ca. 1976.
Scurlock Studio Records, NMAH Archives Center.

One of the most influential and well-known American curators of photography saw the exhibition and expressed interest in acquiring Addison’s work for her museum. On September 24, Robert wrote to Anne Tucker at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, offering to sell her prints at $150.00 each, and suggesting the possibility of showing the exhibition in Houston. Although the show did not travel to Houston, Tucker was among the new wave of eager young photography curators to be hired by major art museums, so the subsequent sale represented a coup for Robert.  

Jane Livingston and Frances Fralin, as well as later dedicated Corcoran photography curators, demonstrated their continuing interest in Black photographers through many other exhibitions and acquisitions. For example, just a year after the Scurlock show, the Corcoran sponsored “Black Photographers in America” from July 30-Aug. 31, 1977. While the Smithsonian Institution was arguably the first American museum to collect and exhibit photographs as works of art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s photography exhibitions date from the early twentieth century, and the museum maintained a vigorous, internationally known photography exhibition and acquisitions program until the Corcoran’s sad demise in 2014, its collections eventually dispersed to other museums. After teaching the history of photography in the Corcoran College of Art for two years, with friends among Corcoran teachers and curators, I was deeply disappointed by that unfortunate turn of events. We can’t blame a pandemic for the permanent closing of that illustrious museum. There is some solace in knowing that the Corcoran’s ground-breaking exhibition of Addison Scurlock’s work ultimately became a component of the Archives Center’s Scurlock collection. Kudos to Jane Livingston and the late Frances Fralin and Harry Lunn for their foresight and dedication in helping to bring Addison Scurlock, a major Black photographer and chronicler of Washington’s African American history, to the attention of photographic historians and the general public.

David Haberstich, Curator of Photography, Archives Center

National Museum of American History