Scrimshaw depicting a Steam Whaling Ship

Iñupiaq
Western Arctic
Arctic

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collected 1905

Bone and graphite

Overall: 1 5/8 × 2 15/16 × 1 15/16 in. (4.2 × 7.5 × 5 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Bequest of Frank C. and Clara G. Churchill

46.17.14737

Geography

Place Made: United States, North America

Period

20th century

Object Name

Carving

Research Area

Native American

Native American: Arctic-Western Arctic

On view

Inscriptions

"Whaling Ship / etched by Esquimo / Arctic, Alaska / Aug.1905"

Label

Artists from different nations and backgrounds made the small boats and other artworks in this case. Before cars, trains, and planes, boats connected the world. These objects reflect the global movement of peoples and trade between Indigenous and Colonial nations.

White protestant and catholic missionaries sailed around the globe attempting to convert Indigenous peoples to western religions. The upright (and uptight) missionary figures appear stiff and unmoving, perhaps reflecting the maker’s opinion that colonizing missionaries failed to fully appreciate the complexity of Haida culture.

The necklaces are made from dentalium, a narrow white seashell harvested by Indigenous peoples along the western coast of North America. Indigenous Americans traded dentalium across the continent, exchanging it for turquoise from the Southwest or dyes and hides from other regions. Dentalium’s movement reflects a history of complex international trade between Indigenous Nations that predates the arrival of European colonizers.

From the 2023 exhibition Liquidity: Art, Commodities, and Water, curated by Michael Hartman, Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art

Course History

First Year Student Enrichment Program - Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Francine A'Ness, Summer 2023

Anthropology 55.01, Anthropology of Global Health, Anne Sosin, Fall 2023

Anthropology 55.01, Anthropology of Global Health, Anne Sosin, Fall 2023

Art History 40.01, American Art and Identity, Mary Coffey, Fall 2023

Creative Writing 10.02, Writing and Reading Fiction, Katherine Crouch, Fall 2023

Geography 11.01, Qualitative Methods, Emma Colven, Fall 2023

Geography 2.01, Introduction to Human Geography, Coleen Fox, Fall 2023

Geography 31.01, Postcolonial Geographies, Erin Collins, Fall 2023

Exhibition History

Liquidity: Art, Commodities, and Water, Israel Sack Gallery and the Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 29, 2023-June 16, 2024.

Native American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, October 8, 2011-March 12, 2012.

Publication History

George P. Horse Capture, Sr., Joe D. Horse Capture, Joseph M. Sanchez, et al., Native American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2011, ill. on p. 81 and p. 139, no. 11.

Provenance

Clara G. Corser Turner Churchill (1851-1945) and Frank Carroll Churchill (1850-1912), Alaska, probably 1905; bequeathed to present collection, 1946.

This record is part of an active database that includes information from historic documentation that may not have been recently reviewed. Information may be inaccurate or incomplete. We also acknowledge some language and imagery may be offensive, violent, or discriminatory. These records reflect the institution’s history or the views of artists or scholars, past and present. Our collections research is ongoing.

We welcome questions, feedback, and suggestions for improvement. Please contact us at: Hood.Collections@dartmouth.edu

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