Frederick Johnson photograph collection 1915-1931(bulk 1925-1931)
NMAI.AC.001.038

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAI.AC.001.038
Creators:
Johnson, Frederick, 1904-1994
Dates:
1915-1931
bulk 1925-1931
Languages:
No_linguistic_content
Physical Description:
477 Negatives (photographic)
(estimated)
black and white
Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
The majority of this collection documents Johnson's work in Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Foundland. Johnson took a very sensitive and intimate approach to documenting the Native peoples of these areas with whom he spent much time. Although he captured many still portraits of individuals, his photographs focus on the activities of people's daily lives, activities such as smoking fish, building wigwams, and gumming canoes. He photographed each step of these processes. The indigenous Canadian cultural groups represented in his photographs are the: Algonquin, Mistassini, Mi'kmaq, Innu, Potawatomi, Montagnais, Abenaki, and Anishinaabe. A portion of the collection records his visits to Old Town, Maine (Penobscot) and Millsboro, Delaware (Nanticoke and Rappahannock Powhatan).

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
Organized by image number

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Frederick Johnson was an anthropologist, born in 1904 in Everett, Massachusetts. Johnson displayed an interest in indigenous cultures and an aptitude for languages at an early age. While young, he also learned about Frank G. Speck, an anthropologist and linguist from the University of Pennsylvania. He studied anthropology at Tufts, the University of Massachusetts and at the University of Pennsylvania, and eventually accompanied Speck on several trips throughout the Northeastern United States. Johnson even worked with physicist Willard Libby to develop Carbon 14 dating, the process for which Libby received a Nobel prize in chemistry in 1960.
Johnson spent his early career with the Algonquin people throughout North America. From 1917 to 1931, Johnson talked primarily with the Innu, Cree, Annishinabe, and Mi'kmaq communities in Canada regarding their lives and histories, and took hundreds of photographs. Many individuals commented that Johnson's primarily focus was to listen to elders and their stories. He acted as the curator of Harvard's Peabody Museum from 1936 to 1967, and subsequently became their director, a post that he held until his retirement in 1969. Johnson passed away in 1994 in Lowell, Massachusetts

Administration
Processing Information note
NMAIA Review
Author

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Researchers must contact the NMAI Archives for an appointment to access the collection.
Conditions Governing Use note
Some images restricted: Cultural Sensitivity

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Abenaki Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Algonquin Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Innu (Naskapi) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Micmac Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Millsboro (Del.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mistassin Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Montagnais Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nanticoke Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ojibwa Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Old Town (Me.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Penobscot Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Potawatomi Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rappahannock Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland , Maryland, 20746-2863
Phone: 301.238.1400
nmaiarchives@si.edu