The exhibition will explore the hidden histories and complex legacies of one of the most influential books in the field of anthropology, Franz Boas’s The Social Organization and the Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians (1897). Focusing on Boas’s work with his Indigenous co-author George Hunt among the Kwakwaka’wakw people of British Columbia, the exhibition—with designs by artist Corrine Hunt, a great-granddaughter of George Hunt—features ceremonial objects as well as rare archival photographs, manuscripts, and drawings that shed new light on the book and advance understanding of the ongoing cultural traditions it documents.
A Focus Project curated by Aaron Glass, Associate Professor, Bard Graduate Center. Focus Projects are small-scale academically rigorous exhibitions and publications that are developed and executed by Bard Graduate Center faculty and postdoctoral fellows in collaboration with students in our MA and PhD programs.

The Story Box: Franz Boas, George Hunt and the Making of Anthropology has been organized by the Bard Graduate Center and the U’mista Cultural Centre, Alert Bay, BC, Canada.

Support for the exhibition has been provided by Bard Graduate Center donors with additional funding from the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts, Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic, and Donald Ellis.