In 1991, local book designer Barbara Pope invited Boston-based photographer Rosamond Purcell, sought after for her keen eye documenting the holdings of natural history museums, to produce images for a publication. For the project, Bishop Museum allowed Purcell access to its collection areas and storage vaults. The resulting calendar—a unique collaboration between the artist, designer and project coordinator Barbara Pope, noted writer Nelson Foster, and museum experts—celebrated the vital research that occurs within our walls, while also sounding an alarm for more ethnological and ecological conservation in the Pacific and across the globe.
This restaging of Purcell’s original photographs comes at a time when these concerns are just as pressing and Bishop Museum’s commitment to them just as steadfast. To prove the point, current Museum staff and researchers have updated Foster’s original text, noting taxonomical revisions, identifying newly endangered or extinct statuses, supplying new information, and continuing to refine how we care for the twenty-five million natural and the cultural objects and how we articulate just some of the stories we have the responsibility of telling.