University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology


Author: Billie Lythberg

Captain Cook’s Barkcloth Books

photos of watercolor
A Tale of Three 18th-Century Sample Books

By: Billie Lythberg

In the Summer of 1919, George Byron Gordon, the Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, discovered a curious book in London. Small and unassuming, its neatly bound covers contained eight pages of printed catalogue followed by 43 specimens of 18th-century Polynesian barkcloth, richly colored and textured. With funds from the […]