NOVEMBER 21, 1941


Born on June 15, 1874, in British Columbia, Haldane migrated in the late 1880s with 800 Tsimshian people to Metlakatla, Alaska, where they sought secure land rights and religious freedom.  In 1903, Haldane began teaching music in southeast Alaska and, for years, was church organist and choir master.  He also led the Metlakatla Concert Band.  In 1899, Haldane opened a portrait studio and documented the people of his community from the 1890s to around 1910.  His photographs show the Tsimshian at a time of great transition.  He also photographed then-outlawed potlatches.  His photographs have been increasingly exhibited in recent decades. The Tongass Historical Museum curated Metlakatla: Vintage Photographs in 2006, which featured 36 of prints of his photographs.  Also, in 2006, his work was included in Our People, Our Land, Our Images, an exhibition of indigenous photographers at the C. N. Gorman Museum at the University of California, Davis.  Haldane is buried in Metlakatla.

Source:  “Benjamin Haldane,” Prabook.  Retrieved 7/21/2019,
Photo:  Author unknown.  Date:  1907.  Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.

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