For Immediate Release
Exhibition Opening Reception and Book Signing
Stephen Dupont: Papua New Guinea Portraits and Diaries
“There’s so much change taking place right now all over Papua New Guinea--a flood of new technology like mobile phones and internet, and more cash [than] imaginable...It’s a total boom. Highlanders are coming to Port Moresby in the droves and … spending all this cash.” -- Stephen Dupont
(Cambridge, March 15, 2013) The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University presents a new exhibition by award-winning Australian photographer Stephen Dupont. As the Museum’s 2010 Robert Gardner Photography Fellow, Dupont returned to Papua New Guinea and explored the mountainous Highlands, the serpentine Sepik River and the dangerously gritty capital city, Port Moresby. His photographs and artist’s journals document tremendous social change caused by globalization, HIV-AIDS, migration, poverty, and new wealth.
Stephen Dupont: Papua New Guinea Portraits and Diaries will open Thursday, May 2, 2013 at the Peabody Museum with a public reception from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. The exhibition will run through September 2, 2013.
In his travels across Papua New Guinea—located north of Australia, on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea —Dupont set up temporary outdoor studios and made innovative portrait photographs.
“I use white and black bed sheets to create an outdoor studio that not only captures my sitter but also allows me to reveal the audience gathering and the environment around the sheet," says Dupont. "You feel as if you are on the streets of Mt. Hagen or in a Sepik village."
Dupont's portraits, landscapes, and diaries are a journey through Papua New Guinea's villages, cities, mines, valleys, and traditional tribal ceremonies.
Piksa Niugini: Portraits and Diaries, the accompanying book—two volumes in a special slipcase (Peabody Museum Press/Radius Books)—may be purchased at the event. For advance orders, email email@example.com or call 617-495-4255.
About Stephen Dupont
Stephen Dupont is a photographer, artist and documentary filmmaker. Over the past two decades, he has produced a remarkable body of visual work; hauntingly beautiful photographs of fragile cultures and marginalized peoples. He skillfully captures the human dignity of his subjects with great intimacy and often in some of the world’s most dangerous regions. His images have received international acclaim for their artistic integrity and valuable insight into some of the peoples, cultures, and communities that are fast disappearing from our world.
Dupont’s work has earned photography’s most prestigious prizes, including a Robert Capa Gold Medal citation from the Overseas Press Club of America, a Bayeux War Correspondent’s Prize, and First Place awards in the World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, the Australian Walkleys, and Leica/CCP Documentary Award.
His work has been featured in The New Yorker, Aperture, Newsweek, Time, GQ, Esquire, Le Figaro, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Independent, The Guardian, The New York Times Magazine, Stern, and Vanity Fair.
Dupont has held major exhibitions in London, Paris, New York, Sydney, Canberra, Tokyo, and Shanghai, and at Perpignan’s Visa Pour L’Image, China’s Ping Yao and Holland’s Noorderlicht festivals.
Dupont’s handmade photographic artist books and portfolios are in the selected collections of the National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, The New York Public Library, Berlin and Munich National Art Libraries, Stanford University, Yale University, and the Boston Athenaeum.
About the Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography
The Fellowship funds an “established practitioner of the photographic arts to create and subsequently publish through the Peabody Museum a major book of photographs on the human condition anywhere in the world.” The Fellowship committee invites nominations from experts around the world; nominees are reviewed and selected by a small committee. The fellowship is unique in its dedication to funding professional documentary photography.
The Fellowship was endowed by filmmaker and author Robert Gardner, whose works have entered the permanent canon of nonfiction filmmaking. In 1961, as Director of Harvard’s Film Study Center, Gardner led an interdisciplinary expedition to document tribal warfare in the Baliem Valley, on the western half of the New Guinea which is now part of Indonesia. There, he directed his best-known film, “Dead Birds.”
Gardner's other works include the film “Forest of Bliss” and the books Making Dead Birds: Chronicle of a Film, Human Documents: Eight Photographers, and Just Representations (all published by the Peabody Museum Press). Gardner was the producer and host of “Screening Room,” a series of more than one hundred 90-minute programs on independent and experimental filmmaking, which has been preserved and archived by the Museum of Film and Broadcasting in New York City. Gardner received Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Harvard University. He directed Harvard’s Film Study Center, was founder and director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, and taught Visual Arts at Harvard for almost 40 years. Gardner is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His most recent book of collected writings, Just Representations (2010), is co-published by Studio7Arts and the Peabody Museum Press.
About the Peabody Museum Press
The Peabody Museum began issuing monographs, archaeological research reports, and other publications related to the Museum’s collections and scholarly activities in 1888. Today, the Peabody Museum Press publishes the unique resources of the Museum and the work of its affiliated scholars. The press’s books include works in Old and New World archaeology, zooarchaeology, biological and sociocultural anthropology, indigenous arts, anthropology and aesthetics, and material culture. The press also publishes exhibition catalogues and the work of the Robert Gardner Photography Fellows and Gardner Visiting Artists.
About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.
Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, $8 for children, ages 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission to the Peabody Museum includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go to www.peabody.harvard.edu.