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Grant number like: FT-55891-08

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Robert J. Foster
University of Rochester (Rochester, NY 14627-0001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2008 – 8/31/2008

A Cultural History of the P.G. Black Collection of Pacific Islands Artifacts

The Buffalo Musem of Science's P.G. Black collection provides important clues about early encounters between Pacific Islanders and European traders, missionaries, government officials, and tourists. I propose to write a book that puts the Black collection in the economic, political, and cultural contexts of its creation, purchase, and display. The project will contribute to scholarly discussions of topics of comparative and interdisciplinary interest: the production and transformation of material culture in settings of intercultural encounter and European colonialism; the politics of museum displays and national cultural property; and the invention and development of the idea of Primitive Art. It will also establish the basis for publications and traveling and online virtual exhibits that interpret the collection for the general public in both the United States and in the Pacific Islands where the collection originated.