Avery Research Center

Keith and Charlotte Otterbein Collection

Keith and Charlotte Otterbein Collection

The Keith and Charlotte Otterbein collection contains straw objects obtained while doing ethnographic work in Nassau, Bahamas between 1959 and 1987. Many of the items in this collection were made by individual Bahamian craftswomen (also called "plaiters") who maintained their independence in the straw industry, while four were sold in the Nassau straw market, thus likely mass produced. The light colored plaits of these objects are made of cabbage palm, and the dark colored plaits are coconut straw.

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Lowcountry Fish and Shrimp Nets

Lowcountry Fish and Shrimp Nets

Cast net fishing is a significant part of history in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Africans transported to the Lowcountry, later known as the Gullah people, brought with them skills in boating and fishing. Seafood was plentiful on the South Carolina coast and barrier islands (sea islands) and made up a large part of the diet, just as on the west coast of Africa. The process used for catching fish and shellfish was a cast net. When the net is thrown, the mesh forms a circle, flattening out like a plate. The line is then pulled in, closing the net and trapping everything in it. Usually several people in fishing communities know how to weave and knot the nets; however, it is a skilled art form that has its roots in Africa.

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Edwin A. Harleston Collection

Edwin A. Harleston Collection

The Edwin A. Harleston collection contains three original paintings by African American artist and community activist Edwin "Teddy" Harleston (1882-1931) of Charleston, South Carolina. The pieces are representative of the early twentieth-century artists famous portraits and landscapes of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Edwin A. "Teddy" Harleston (1882-1931) was an African American artist and community activist in Charleston, South Carolina. A graduate of Avery Normal Institute and member of Plymouth Congregational Church, he founded the Charleston chapter of the NAACP in 1917 and served as first president of the organization. His father, Captain Edwin G. Harleston (1854-1931), opened Harleston Funeral Home in 1917, and duo ran this business until their deaths in 1931.

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Fulbright-Hays Trip Collection

Fulbright-Hays Trip Collection

In 2008, Curtis J. Franks travelled to West Africa as a participant in the Fulbright-Hays program under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Education to explore historical and cultural connections between people of African descent in the Lowcountry and Africans in the Mano River Region (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Ivory Coast), where the artifacts in this collection were acquired.

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Dr. Elizabeth Clarice Hall Collection

Dr. Elizabeth Clarice Hall Collection

Dr. Elizabeth Clarice Hall (1946-2005) was born in Albany, Georgia. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Ursinus College in 1968, then an M.S. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Florida State University in 1971 and 1973. The artifacts in this collection were assembled from Dr. Hall's various trips to Africa.

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George Pope Collection

George Pope Collection

The George Pope collection contains Nigerian artifacts acquired while Mr. Pope, former U.S. State Department employee, was stationed in the country.

Nike Olaniyi [Okundaye] Davies (1951- ) is an internationally known artist and textile designer from Nigeria. She founded and runs the Nike Center for Art and Culture in Oshogbo [Osogbo], Nigeria, which offers art classes to local youth free of charge. Davies' work has been exhibited in museums internationally and she has received considerable recognition for her efforts in the development of Nigerian art and culture.

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Leo S. Carty Watercolor Print Collection

Leo S. Carty Watercolor Print Collection

The Leo S. Carty Watercolor Print collection contains nine signed and number prints by Leo S. Carty (1931-2010). The primary focus of Carty's paintings are the daily life of blacks in the Virgin Islands at the turn of the 20th century.

Leo S. Carty (1931-2010) was born in Harlem, New York on April 17, 1931. He became interested in art at a young age and at the age of ten received a scholarship to attend the Museum of Modern Art School for Children. In 1976, he moved to St. Croix, Virgin Islands where he lived until his death. His art often portrays daily life and incorporates history, focusing on the Virgin Islands.

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