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Ellen Pearlstein: UCLA/Getty Conservation Scholar to Present Virtual Conversation with Yup’ik Elder Chuna McIntyre, Oct. 28

By Joanie Harmon

This summer, Professor Pearlstein had a unique opportunity to connect McIntyre with Yup’ik masks, collected in 1924 for the Vatican Museums. 

Ellen Pearlstein, UCLA professor of information studies, will present a conversation with Yup’ik elder Chuna McIntyre, titled, “Yup'ik masks at the Vatican; Indigenous American Heritage in European Museums,” on Friday, Oct. 28, at 11 a.m. via Zoom. 

When Professor Pearlstein was in Italy earlier this year for her Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy, she had the opportunity to work with major American Indigenous collections at the Anima Mundi, the renamed ethnological museum of the Vatican Museums, and the “Luigi Pigorini” National Prehistoric Ethnographic Museum, part of the Museo delle Civiltá in Rome. 

Above: "Masterpiece," Yup'ik mask, 101596, Anima Mundi Museum, Vatican Museums 

Along with exploring these museums’ significant progress in redefining colonial museum practices, Pearlstein also had a unique opportunity to facilitate a meeting with McIntyre and to reconnect him with masterfully created Yup’ik masks that were collected for the Vatican Missionary Exposition in 1925. Their ensuing interactions led to profound linguistic, spiritual, and technical lessons, permitting the Anima Mundi to revise its understanding of the works and their exhibition labels.

“Collaborative practices that are increasingly expanding in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand are important to extend to European museums holding these collections, i e., to create more global paradigms for collaborative conservation practice,” says Professor Pearlstein, who is the founding faculty member of the UCLA/Getty Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials. 

To attend this event, register with Eventbrite.