National Museum of Samoa celebrates Dorothea Heeimrod

The National Museum of Samoa celebrated the unique work of Dorothea Heimrod from more than 120 years ago through an art exhibition at on Thursday.

Papalii Peone  Solomona, associate chief executive officer of the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture, culture division said, the event was to also commemorate the International Women’s Day, which was celebrated yesterday, March 8th.

“This is a unique exhibition, not only is it the last exhibition for the museum team for this financial year but also unique because tomorrow will be International Women’s Day.

“We are celebrating a work of a woman who came to Samoa in the turn of the century and captured some of the most intriguing photos of our homeland way before Samoans has access to cameras,” said Papalii.

Dorothea Heimrod took photos of Samoa from 1900 to 1905 during the German Administration and she was the daughter of the American Consul, George Heimrod, to Samoa at the time.

“So today we honor this lady, her name is Dorothy Heimrod and she’s from Omaha Nebraska.

“And as you know in the business of museums is to try and safeguard as much of the authenticity of our practices and culture as possible and this kind of work this lady did will help us to achieve a little bit towards that ,” revealed Papalii.

The exhibition included a collection 32 photographs of a young American woman, Samoa’s nature, people, and buildings that have never been seen in public before.

“The uniqueness in this ladies photography even though she want a professional photographer was she took photographs of not only the landscape of what we were told mostly of but she also took a lot of interest in daily life, in the role of women and the role of family.

“She captured a part of our Samoan daily living back at the time. And also captured some of the Melanesian people who settled here at that time,” said Papalii.

The ACEO of the MESC culture division wished to thank everyone who were involved bringing the exhibition to life with special thanks to the grand niece of Dorothy Heimrod who agreed to bring the photos to Samoa.

 “The acknowledgement here is for that family. The grandniece of Dorothea gave the okay to bring these photographs back home and we acknowledge the assistance of everyone who helped bring this exhibition to life,” she said.

“So were always grateful for opportunities such as this and the many friends of the museum who helped bring these exhibitions to life and help us enrich what we already have here at the museum.”

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