Eskimo Omiak in the Spring (Eskimos/Indians)

Dublin Core


Eskimo Omiak in the Spring (Eskimos/Indians)


Robert Joseph Flaherty


6 3/8 x 8 3/8 inches



Still Image Item Type Metadata


While the films of Robert Flaherty have been analyzed,
and disputed, in great detail, virtually no consideration
has been given to a collection of nearly 1,500 photographs
which he produced before and during production
of Nanook of the North (1922). Most of these photographs,
taken primarily in the Canadian sub-Arctic between 1910
and 1921, have survived only the form of fragile glass
plates, slides, or nitrate negatives, deposited by Flaherty's
widow in 1972 with the Robert and Frances Flaherty
Study Center at the School of Theology, Claremont,
Flaherty often gave his photographs to both his subjects
and his friends. Most of these vintage prints, however,
have been lost. Two almost identical vintage albums
have been located, one in the collection of the Royal
Ontario Museum, in Toronto, and the other at the Thunder
Bay Historical Museum. Other than six photographs from
the Medland Collection in the Public Archives of Canada,
National Photography Collection, Ottawa, and some vintage
prints reputedly still in the Arctic, virtually all the
vintage and modern prints as well as the negatives are to
be found at the School of Theology in Claremont.
Examination of these photographs has been facilitated
by the extensive work carried out by the Center's director,
Dr. Jack Coogan, and his assistant, John Nelson. This
work, completed in the spring of 1979, involved rephotographing
the images on safety film and providing roughly
cataloged contact sheets. These contact sheets were
broken down into four groupings: N (Nanook} 1-383 and
N 2001-2822; C (Canada) 1-148; G (Geology) 1-55; and
OL (On the Laddie) 1-153.
In April1979, the author began working with the contact
sheets in preparation for an exhibition at The Vancouver
Art Gallery (December 1, 1979 to January 13,
1980). It was realized that most of the photographs predated
Nanook of the North, some by more than ten years;
that some had in fact been taken in British Columbia;
and, surprisingly, that hand-written inscriptions on vintage
prints were often misdated.
The finest of the photographs were portraits of the Inuit.
These striking images demanded to be identified: Who
were the subjects, and what was their relationship to
Robert Flaherty?





Media Details


Signature Position

marked: ©Revillon Freres, NY Robert Flaherty


Robert Joseph Flaherty , “Eskimo Omiak in the Spring (Eskimos/Indians),” Westport Public Schools Digital Collections, accessed December 6, 2023,

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:creator Item: Robert Joseph Flaherty
This Item dcterms:relation Item: Kings Highway Elementary