Funded in part by some of the United States’ wealthiest industrialists/philanthropists, William Beebe and his team operated field stations in colonized Guyana (British Guiana), Venezuela, Trinidad, Haiti, and the the West Indies. Through their prolific use of drawings, paintings, animations, and popular writing William Beebe and the DTR had a broad influence over how their large U.S. audiences understood ecology (as a profession and as a set of environmental relationships), and how they conceptualized the Amazon and Caribbean as cultural communities in the first half of the 20th century.
Historian and anthropologist Katherine McLeod's walkthrough of the Exploratory Works exhibit aims to give political and economic context to the drawings, films, and writing made by the Department of Tropical Research. Using the DTR drawings on display as focal points, we will discuss the systems of labor, natural resource extraction and distribution, politics and economies operating in and around Department of Tropical Research stations that played a role in how these scientists and artists chose to represent, in writing and illustrations, the regions they studied.
Wednesday, May 31, 6:30pm
Click here for tickets ($5)
Image: Research assistant and historian Ruth Rose and artist Isabel Cooper outside tents at Kartabo, British Guiana, 1922. Silver gelatin print, courtesy of the Wildlife Conservation Society Archives.