Gertrude Duby Blom exhibit photographs

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Source Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Gertrude Duby Blom exhibit photographs and project records 1941-2004, 2015

Collection #RL.10084 | 9 Linear Feet (8 boxes; 1 oversize folder); 1.21 Gigabytes (3 files (.WAV, .MP3, and .PKV ))

Gertrude Duby Blom (1901-1993) was a Swiss-born photographer, journalist, anthropologist, and environmental activist. Collection comprises 71 black-and-white exhibit photographs featuring images taken by Gertrude Duby Blom between 1941 and 1979 in the highland jungles of Lacandón and other areas and towns in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. The images document the cultural and ecological environments inhabited by indigenous Maya, predominantly the Lacandones; there are also images of Latino immigrants to the region, chiefly lumber industry workers and their families, and other townspeople in San Cristobal. Scenes from camps and towns portray mealtimes, hunting and gathering expeditions, agricultural customs, religious ceremonies, folk Catholicism and its rituals, classrooms, medical clinics, and street scenes. Later images attest to the destruction of native ecosystems and the rapidly changing culture of the indigenous peoples. The matted gelatin silver prints vary in size from 11x14 to 22x22 inches; there is also one 26x26 inch matted print. The accompanying exhibit and project records contain correspondence, notes, publicity, and other materials (1983-2004) documenting the collaboration between Alex Harris, documentary photographer from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Gertrude Blom, and individuals in Mexico and the U.S., which resulted in a major exhibit, "People of the forest: photographs of the Maya by Getrude Blom," launched in 1984, and the publication of "Gertrude Blom: bearing witness" (1984). Includes a 2015 audio interview conducted by Alex Harris with Blom's collaborator Barry Norris, who printed the photographs in this collection. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

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