Copies of Franz Boas photographs of Kwakiutl Indians, circa 1894

Collection ID:
Boas, Franz, 1858-1942
circa 1894
Physical Description:
3 copy prints
National Anthropological Archives

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
Photographs probably depicting Kwakiutl Indians, including a man in a blanket, a man wearing a bird mask and cedarbark dress, and a woman holding up a cradle or load.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Franz Boas (1858-1942) was a German-American anthropologist and pioneer of modern anthropological practice. He studied physics and geography at the universities at Heidelberg and Bonn before completing a doctoral program in physical geography at Kiel in 1881. After graduation, he joined an expedition of Baffin Island (1883-1884), which influenced his decision to him to focus on cultural tradition rather than biological and physical influences. In 1885, Boas emigrated to the United States, where he took an editorial position with the journal Science and started what would become his most famous ethnographic project, working among the Kwakiutl (Kwakwaka'wakw) Indians, in 1886. Boas spent three years teaching at Clark University in Massachusetts, then took an appointment at the Field Museum in Chicago in 1892. Boas then moved to New York, where he joined the American Museum of Natural History (1895-1905) and began teaching at Columbia University in 1896. For 37 years, Boas established himself as an academic and mentored numerous future influential anthropologists, including Margaret Mead, Alfred Kroeber, Edward Sapir, and Zora Neale Hurston. He also served as one of the founders of both the American Anthropological Association and the International Journal of American Linguistics.

Existence and Location of Originals note
Originals possibly held by Valerie Pinsky or in the American Philosophical Society archives.
Finding aid prepared by Sarah Ganderup
Custodial History note
Donated by Valerie Pinsky, 1996.

Local Call Number(s)
Local Call Number(s)
NAA Photo Lot R97-19

Reproduction Note
Reproduction Note
Copy prints made by Smithsonian Institution, 1996.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use note
This copy collection has been obtained for reference purposes only. Contact the repository for terms of use and access.
Preferred Citation note
Photo Lot R97-19, Copies of Franz Boas photographs of Kwakiutl Indians, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

Addl. KW Subj
Addl. KW Subj
Kwakiutl (Kwakwaka'wakw)

Location of Other Archival Materials
Location of Other Archival Materials
Additional Boas photographs held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 24.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Northwest Coast Indian legends and vocabularies by Boas held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 948, MS 1753, and other Numbered Manuscripts.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Correspondence from Boas held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4846, MS 4558, MS 1746, MS 4821, American Ethnological Society records, Bureau of American Ethnology records, and collections of personal papers.
Location of Other Archival Materials
The American Philosophical Society holds the Franz Boas Papers.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Indians of North America--Northwest Coast of North America Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kwakiutl Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland , 20746
Phone: 301.238.1300