Barbara Blackmun Collection, EEPA 2016-012
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
EEPA.2016-012
Creators:
Blackmun, Barbara Winston
Dates:
circa 1969-1994
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1,469 color slides
Repository:
The collection includes 1,469 color slides (35mm) which were taken in Nigeria from circa 1964-1994, and focus on ancestral altars; artists; art objects in museums, including bronze plaques and carved ivory tusks; ceremonies and festivals, including the Igue and Ewere Festivals, and the Emobo, Otue, Olokun, title-taking, and Blackmun's initation ceremonies; and people, including Oba Erediauwa and chiefs Eribo, Ero, Esogban, Ezomo, Ohanmu and Osaigeide; and street and landscape scenes in Benin City, Ife, Lagos, Ishiago, and Mbarri, Owerri, Owo, among other locations in Nigeria.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection includes 1,469 color slides (35mm) which were taken in circa 1969 to 1994, and focus on African art objects, prominent people, especially chiefs, festivals and ceremonies, and landscape and street scenes in Nigeria, including Benin City, Ife, Ishiago, Jeronimos, Lagos, Mbari, Oshagbe, Owerri, Owo, Oyo, and Udu.
Many of the images are of art objects in museums, particularly in the Jos Museum, the Owo Museum, the Benin Museum, the Lagos Museum, the Ife Palace Museum, and the University of Ife Museum. The objects include altar stands, armlets, bells, bowls, boxes, bracelets, figures, Oko (flutes), ivory gongs, Ikengobos, masks, motif drawings, pendants, plaques, regalia, salt cellars, staffs, stools, and carved ivory tusks.
People depicted include the Oba Erediauwa, and the chiefs Eribo, Ero, Esogban, Ezomo, Ohanmu and Osaigeide. The collection also documents ceremonies and festivals, including the Igue and Ewere Festivals, and the Emobo, Otue, and Olokun ceremonies as well as Ineh Isienmwenro's title-taking, and Blackmun's initation.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Arranged into 4 series:
  • Series 1: Museum Objects (747 slides), 1979-1994
  • Series 2: Ceremonies (227 slides), circa 1969-1994
  • Series 3: People (354 slides), circa 1969-1994
  • Series 4: Landscape and Street Scenes (141 slides), circa 1969-1994

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
African art historian Barbara Winston Blackmun (1928-) is a specialist in Nigerian antiquities, particularly Nok terracottas, the bronzes of Ile Ife, and the bronzes and ivories of the Kingdom of Benin in Nigeria. She earned her BFA at UCLA (1949), MA at Arizona State University (1971), and Doctor of Philosophy in Art History at UCLA (1984).
Over her career, Blackmun's research has included fieldwork in Malawi (1964-1969) and research of Ife antiquities with Frank Willett (1978-79) and various collections on Benin antiquities in the U.K., U.S., Europe, and Africa (1980-present). Recipient of a Fulbright (1981-1982) and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant (1994), she conducted field work at the Oba's court in Benin City, Nigeria. Additionally, she has published numerous exhibition catalogs and articles in journals such as African Arts.
Blackmun taught art history at the Malawi Polytechnic College, Blantyre, (1965—1969), San Diego Mesa College (at which she is Professor Emeritus) (1971—2010), University of California, San Diego (1987, 2008, 2004), and UCLA (1987, 2000), among other places. She also curated and acted as a curatorial consultant of African art collections at numerous institutions, including Mesa College, the San Diego Museum of Art (2010), Chicago Field Museum (1990—1993), Chicago Art Institute (1994, 2006—2008), Detroit Institute of Art (2002—2010), Museum fuer Voelkerkunde, Vienna (2003—2008), and the Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin (2003—2008).
Her committee work includes serving as National Program Director for the African American Institute, Malawi (1968—1969), a member of the Education Council, Contemporary Arts Committee, San Diego Museum of Art (1975—1978), a board member of the San Diego Mesa College Foundation (1983-) and the African and African-American Studies Research Center, University of California, San Diego, and Chair of the African Arts Council, San Diego Museum of Art.

Administration
Processing Information
Digitized in 2017. Finding aid by Eden Orelove, 2018.
Author
Eden Orelove
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Monica Blackmun Visona, 2016.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Barbara Blackmun Collection, EEPA 2016-012, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details. Items 1234-1256 restricted. Available to view onsite only.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Nigeria Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ife (Nigeria) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Edo (African people) Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Altars Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color slides Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, African Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rites and ceremonies -- Africa Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Egúngún (Cult) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yoruba (African people) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Africa Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Benin Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Erediauwa, King of Benin, 1923-2016 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art
National Museum of African Art
P.O. Box 37012
MRC 708
Washington, DC 20013-7012
elisofonarchives@si.edu
http://africa.si.edu/collection/eliot-elisofon-photographic-archives/