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 Traveling Photographies Keynote Address

Ultimate Travellers and Entangled Images: Picture Postcards from West and Central Africa

Christraud M. Geary
Teel Senior Curator of African and Oceanic Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Christraud M. Geary is the Teel Senior Curator of African and Oceanic Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For thirteen years, until February 2003, she was the Curator of the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, where she organized several photographic exhibitions, among them Seydou Keita, Photographer. Portraits from Bamako, Mali (1996).

A cultural anthropologist with a doctorate from the University of Frankfurt, Germany, Geary is the author of several books and numerous essays on photography in Africa and the arts of the Cameroon Grassfields. Her publications include Material journeys: Collecting African and Oceanic Art, 1945-2000 (2007), In and Out of Focus; Images from Central Africa, 1885-1960 (2002), Images from Bamum: German colonial photography at the court of King Njoya, Cameroon, West Africa, 1902-1915 (1988), and the edited collections Delivering Views: Distant Cultures in Early Postcards (1998). Geary is also a consulting editor and the photo essay editor of the journal African Arts.

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King of Benin [Oba Ovonramven of Benin on his way into exile aboard the yacht Ivy, Niger Coast Protectorate, present-day Nigeria]. Photograph by J.A. Green, 1897. Postcard published ca. 1902. Private collection.