Special Publications

2020
To Make Their Own Way in the World: The Enduring Legacy of the Zealy Daguerreotypes
Deborah Willis and Ilisa Barbash, Molly Rogers. 9/22/2020. To Make Their Own Way in the World: The Enduring Legacy of the Zealy Daguerreotypes, Pp. 488. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Foreword by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Photographic Essay by Carrie Mae Weems

Bronze Medal, 2021 IPPY Awards (Photography)
Finalist, 2021 Arles Book Awards (Historical)

To Make Their Own Way in the World is a profound consideration of some of the most challenging images in the history of photography: fifteen daguerreotypes of Alfred, Delia, Drana, Fassena, Jack, Jem, and Renty―men and women of African descent who were enslaved in South Carolina.

Photographed by Joseph T. Zealy for Harvard professor Louis Agassiz in 1850, they were rediscovered at Harvard’s Peabody Museum in 1976. This groundbreaking multidisciplinary volume features essays by prominent scholars who explore such topics as the identities of the people depicted in the daguerreotypes, the close relationship between photography and race, and visual narratives of slavery and its lasting effects. With over two hundred illustrations, including new photography by Carrie Mae Weems, this book frames the Zealy daguerreotypes as works of urgent engagement.

Copublished by Aperture and the Peabody Museum Press.

2019
Far & Near: Selections from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
Pamela Gerardi. 1/21/2019. Far & Near: Selections from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Pp. 112. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

3rd place, 2019 NEMA Awards (Books)

Since its founding in 1886, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University has been collecting, caring for, exhibiting, and researching objects produced by human cultures around the world. This handsomely illustrated, highly portable volume presents a selection of more than 90 objects in honor of the museum’s 150th anniversary in 2016–2017. Dating from Paleolithic times to the present and originating from the Arctic Circle to South Pacific, these selections represent but a fraction of the 1.4 million pieces in the museum’s collections. They range in character from the sacred to the profane, the utilitarian to the highly decorative, the deeply symbolic to the outrageously whimsical.

Chosen by the museum’s curators and staff, the works presented in Far & Near provide a tantalizing glimpse into the wonders of the collections of the Peabody Museum and reflect the skilled artistry of human hands and the endless creativity of the human mind.

2018
Still Points
Robert Gardner. 9/10/2018. Still Points, Pp. 112. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Still Points is a collection of remarkable and evocative still photographs taken by award-winning nonfiction filmmaker and author Robert Gardner during his anthropological and filming expeditions around the world. Thousands of his original photographic transparencies and negatives from the Kalahari Desert, New Guinea, Colombia, India, Ethiopia, Niger, and other remote locations are now housed in the Photographic Archives of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. This elegantly produced volume presents a curated selection of more than 70 color and black-and-white images made by Gardner between the 1950s and the 1980s. Edited by Adele Pressman, Gardner’s wife and literary executor, and with a foreword by Eliot WeinbergerStill Points both honors an important and influential artist and reveals new dimensions in his work.

2013
A Lakota War Book from the Little Big Horn: The Pictographic "Autobiography of Half Moon"
Castle McLaughlin. 12/13/2013. A Lakota War Book from the Little Big Horn: The Pictographic "Autobiography of Half Moon", Pp. 368. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Foreword by Chief Joseph Brings Plenty, Cheyenne River Sioux

Houghton Library Studies 4

Winner, Bookbuilders of Boston/New England Book Show (General Trade, Illustrated)

First Place, NEMA Awards (Books >$500k)

"Transformative." Candace Greene

The composite nineteenth-century document known as "The Pictorial Autobiography of Half Moon, an Uncpapa Sioux Chief" has at its core seventy-seven drawings made by Lakota warriors of the northern Plains. Found in a funerary tipi on the Little Bighorn battlefield after Custer's defeat in 1876, the drawings are from a captured ledger book that was later acquired by Chicago journalist James "Phocion" Howard. Howard added an illustrated introduction and leather binding and presented the document as the autobiographical work of a "chief" named Half Moon.

Anthropologist Castle McLaughlin probes the complex life history and cultural significance of the ledger and demonstrates that the dramatic drawings, mostly of war exploits, were created by at least six different warrior-artists. Examining how allied Lakota and Cheyenne warriors understood their graphic records of warfare as objects as well as images, McLaughlin introduces the concept of "war books"—documents that were captured and modified by Native warriors in order to appropriate the power of Euroamerican literacy. Together, the vivid first-person depictions in the ledger—now in the collection of Harvard's Houghton Library—make up a rare Native American record of historic events that likely occurred between 1866 and 1868 during Red Cloud's War along the Bozeman Trail.

A complete color facsimile of the Houghton ledger is reproduced in this ground-breaking volume.

Castle McLaughlin is Peabody Museum Curator of North American Ethnology.

"McLaughlin’s latest publication brings readers into the world of the real Crazy Horse. … As McLaughlin explains, these [ledger] drawings are as rich and informative as any Euro‐American literary text"

—Henry Adams, Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University, The Conversation

>> read the full review 

 

"...completely engrossing."—David Wilk, WritersCast: The Voice of Writing

>> read the full review and listen to an interview with Castle McLaughlin

 

Please request signed copies when ordering by email.

Co-published with Houghton Library.

2009
Human Documents: Eight Photographers
Robert Gardner. 11/30/2009. Human Documents: Eight Photographers. Edited by Charles Warren, Pp. 128. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Edited by Charles Warren
Photographs by Michael Rockefeller, Adelaide de Menil, Kevin Bubriski, Christopher James, Jane Tuckerman, Susan Meiselas, and Alex Webb

Winner, 2009 New England Book Show (General Trade, Book and Cover)

First Place, 2010 NEMA Awards (Books Over $10)

Silver Medal, 2010 IPPY Awards (Photo)

Finalist, 2010 Ben Franklin Awards (Arts)

Finalist, 2009 Foreword Magazine Awards (Photo)

In Human DocumentsRobert Gardner introduces the work of photographers with whom he has worked over a period of nearly fifty years under the auspices of the Film Study Center at Harvard. Their images achieve the status of what Gardner calls “human documents”: visual evidence that testifies to our shared humanity. In images and words, the book adds to the already significant literature on photography and filmmaking as ways to gather both fact and insight into the human condition. In nearly 100 images spanning geographies and cultures including India, New Guinea, Ethiopia, and the United States, Human Documents demonstrates the important role photography can play in furthering our understanding of human nature and connecting people through an almost universal visual language.

Author and cultural critic Eliot Weinberger contributes the essay “Photography and Anthropology (A Contact Sheet),” in which he provides a new and intriguing context for viewing and thinking about the images presented here.

2008
Making Dead Birds: Chronicle of a Film
Robert Gardner. 3/30/2008. Making Dead Birds: Chronicle of a Film, Pp. 160. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Honorable Mention, 2008 NEMA Awards (Books Over $10)

Robert Gardner’s classic Dead Birds is one of the most highly acclaimed and controversial documentary films ever made. This detailed and candid account of the process of making Dead Birds, from the birth of the idea through filming in New Guinea to editing and releasing the finished film, is more than the chronicle of a single work. It is also a thoughtful examination of what it meant to record the moving and violent rituals of warrior-farmers in the New Guinea highlands and to present to the world a graphic story of their behavior as a window onto our own. Letters, journals, telegrams, newspaper clippings, and over 50 images are assembled to recreate a vivid chronology of events. Making Dead Birds not only addresses the art and practice of filmmaking, but also explores issues of representation and the discovery of meaning in human lives.

Gardner led a remarkable cast of participants on the 1961 expedition. All brought back extraordinary bodies of work. Probably most influential of all was Dead Birds, which marked a sea change in nonfiction filmmaking. This book takes the reader inside the creative process of making that landmark film and offers a revealing look into the heart and mind of one of the great filmmakers of our time.

2004
Dear Jeffie
12/1/2004. Dear Jeffie, Pp. 96. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Jeffries Wyman (1814–74), a pioneer anthropologist of nineteenth-century America and one of its great comparative anatomists, was the Hersey Professor of Anatomy at Harvard University and, later, a trustee of the Peabody Museum and professor of American Archaeology and Ethnology.

Wyman wrote the 59 letters in this volume to his only son Jeffie. Dating from 1866, when Jeffie was two, until Wyman’s death in 1874, when Jeffie was ten, the letters reveal a great scientist trying to instill in his son the concepts of acute observation and wonder. Wyman’s charming, quizzical drawings embellish the text, which will be appreciated by children and adults alike.

1998
Makers and Markets: The Wright Collection of Twentieth-Century Native American Art
Penelope Ballard Drooker. 11/18/1998. Makers and Markets: The Wright Collection of Twentieth-Century Native American Art, Pp. 544. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

The decades of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s were a time of growth and change in producing, marketing, and collecting Native American artwork and craftwork. During this time William R. Wright amassed a collection notable for its broad representation of twentieth-century Native American products. Focusing on the Southwest, he included contemporary Pueblo ceramics, Navajo and Hopi textiles, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni jewelry, and baskets from some forty different Native American groups. The objects Wright gathered, which are now part of the collections of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, reflect developments in the intersecting worlds of makers, markets, and collectors, including the challenges faced by makers to successfully balance tradition and innovation in their work and their lives.

This volume examines selected objects from the Wright collection to explore the market-influenced environment of modern Native American makers and their work, from what some consider the low end of tourist art multiples to the high end of unique, signed fine art objects.

1996
Shell Gorgets: Styles of the Late Prehistoric and Protohistoric Southeast
Jeffrey P. Brain and Philip Phillips. 3/29/1996. Shell Gorgets: Styles of the Late Prehistoric and Protohistoric Southeast, Pp. 544. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Engraved shell gorgets are found throughout prehistoric southeastern North America. The artistic sophistication of these gorgets lends itself to the sensitive stylistic and chronological analysis offered here. In part one of this volume, the gorgets are classified into styles; in part two, described archaeological sites are analyzed for associations and chronology; and in part three, information about the gorgets is correlated with other artifactual evidence, and patterns of intersite distribution are examined for chronological insights and dynamic interpretations.