• Keeper Of The Seal: The Art Of Henry Wood Elliott And The Salvation Of The Alaska Fur Seals

      Morris, Lisa Marie; Lee, Molly; Woodward, Kesler (2001)
      This thesis examines the art of Henry Wood Elliott (1846--1930) and its role in Elliott's successful crusade to save the Pribilof Island fur seals from probable extinction, its importance as a visual record of the nineteenth-century Pribilof Aleut people during a time of societal transition, and how the art reveals the guiding aspirations of the artist. Elliott was one of the first American artists to work in Alaska. An experienced field artist who had served on two prior government expeditions before his assignment to the Pribilof Islands, Elliott used his watercolors of the fur seals in a successful nationwide campaign to reverse the depletion of the herds. Less well known are Elliott's ethnographic watercolors of the Pribilof Aleut people. Created only a few short years after the 1867 Alaska Purchase, these works show the Native people accommodating their Aleut-Russian culture to American societal expectations. These images, then, are a significant visual record for safeguarding the Aleut people's past. Nettled by scientific opponents, Elliott also turned his artistic talents to retaliation. Just as William Hogarth (1697--1764) and Honore Daumier (1808--1879) used caricature to comment on society, Elliott created hundreds of cartoons (ca. 1910--1926) to ridicule his opponents and promote his own point of view. It is in these previously unexamined works that Henry Elliott achieved a synthesis of art and documentation. Elliott's art also reveals his own thwarted aspirations to achieve recognition as a serious artist. His experiences as an expedition artist encouraged both his enthusiasm for science and talent for documentation. Elliott's desire to pair his watercolors with descriptive written details and snippets of government documents, however, transformed them into visual record. Elliott may not have realized his dream of winning respect as an artist, but his documentary images aroused more interest in the declining fur seal herds than the thousands of pages of dry testimony documenting the controversy. The attention generated by his artwork was a major contributor to the successful resolution of the Pribilof Island fur seal debate.
    • Vernacular Images Of The Svalbard Archipelago, 1596 To 1996

      Deehr, Tone Benedicte Treider; Woodward, Kesler (1997)
      Drama has always been part of Svalbard's vernacular or everyday images. Drama was central to the serialized whaling prints produced in the Dutch and English printing shops by the seventeenth and eighteenth century's graphic artists, who themselves might not have set foot in the Arctic. These prints soon gained increasing popularity in illiterate Europe. Svalbard's resources, adventure, and exploitation became public knowledge. New names began filling empty spaces on the map prompted by science and exploration. The navigator's and cartographer's coastal sketches were slowly replaced by more elaborate landscape compositions with halftones and perspective. During the nineteenth century, professional artists gained access to the islands, most often hired to record expedition findings. Having proceeded from the particular to the universal, Svalbard's vernacular imagery appears as an emotional awakening to the power of being in an arctic environment that renders an important perspective to our global concerns. <p>