Scope and Contents
The collection consists of 3,194 color photographs (20 x 24 inches or smaller), 2,488 color 35 mm negatives, a copy of a sketchbook, 11 posters, 24 art prints, biographical materials, correspondence, printed materials, and 3 DVDs, created by Betty LaDuke in circa 1981-2018.
The majority of the photographs were taken in Eritrea, including in Agordat, Asmara, Barentu, Emebet, Geleba, Keren, Massawa, Mendefera, Nakfa, Senafe and Serona, though some were taken in Ethiopia, especially in Lalibela. Images depict architecture, agricultural work, beadwork, weaving, village scenes, artists, artists at work, artworks, markets, celebrations, scenic views, animals, churches and mosques. Most of the photos depict Kunama or Saho peoples, particularly women and children. LaDuke also regularly photographed war zones during the Border War, especially those in Nakfa and Gelebe, portraying Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, Red Cross workers, World Food Program supply tents and the Tacoumbia Food Distribution Center. Other notable subjects include the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW), artwork in the Saint George Gallery and children at Dekemhare School.
LaDuke frequently documented art workshops that she attended, artwork and exhibits. Many of her photos depict artwork by Berhane Adonais, Michael Adonais, Mussie Asgodam, Haile Berthe, Danny Dafla, Isak Fasil, Josief Idris, Terhas Iyassu, Elsa Yacob, Abraham Mogos, Kiros Adebe, Tzeghereda Yohannes, Teamrat Ghidei, Afewerki Asmeron, Demoz Russom and Jacob Abraha, as well as the artists themselves at work, socializing or posing by their finished artwork. Additionally, the collection includes four pen and ink drawings by the artists Afewerki Haile, Yoseirf G. Idris and Fessahaie Zemicael, and a number of art prints by LaDuke.
A copy of LaDuke's sketchbook depicts scenes in Asmara and surrounding areas, Tekul, Aidkeh, Keren, Barantu, Tocumbia, Mendefera, Senafe and Massawa. LaDuke sketched village, market and street scenes, celebrations, churchgoers at a Coptic Church, animals, Saho basketmakers, Kunama peoples, St. George's Restaurant and grain mill workers, among other subjects.
Biographical Materials include artist statements and biographical notes, a letter announcing LaDuke as winner of the Vida Scudder Award, a blank registration form for the Northern National Art Competition, for which LaDuke served as judge, a letter to LaDuke from Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan, exhibit schedules and a resume.
The printed material in the collection includes clippings of publications in which LaDuke's artwork is featured, such as
School Arts Magazine
, promotional materials and a holiday notecard produced by Heifer International, announcements and posters. Exhibition files for LaDuke's shows include clippings, announcements, catalogs, photos, correspondence and a CD-ROM of her photos. Additionally, there are a substantial number of exhibit reviews published in such magazines and newspapers as
The Christian Science Monitor
Finally, the collection contains three DVDs entitled Africa Between Myth and Reality (circa 2000), Betty LaDuke: Art Reflection Life (2006), and With Love from Eritrea (2018)which document LaDuke's artistic process and artwork.