Barbara A. Hail

Barbara A. Hail, Curator Emerita

Barbara A. Hail retired in June 2002 from her position as Deputy Director and Curator and was subsequently appointed Curator Emerita of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University. She was trained in history and anthropology at Brown University, Cornell University, and Columbia University. Her research interests include North American material culture, ethnology and ethnohistory. She is the author of two books that discuss stylistic and cultural aspects of the material culture of these areas: Hau Kola! The Plains Indian Collection of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology (1981, 1983, 1988) and Out of the North: The Subarctic Collection of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology (with Kate Duncan, 1989), both published by Brown University, and was principal essayist for Patterns of Life, Patterns of Art: The Rahr Collection (of Dartmouth College), University of New England Press, 1987.

Hail's recent research has included the history of museums. She contributed a chapter to the 1994 book Passionate Hobby: Rudolph Haffenreffer and the King Philip Museum (Krech, ed. 1994). She is co-editor with Shepard Krech of the book Collecting Native America, 1870-1960, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999. From 1995 to 1999, she collaborated with a number of descendants of 19th century Kiowa and Comanche cradlemakers on an ethnohistorical study of these cradles, resulting in a two-year traveling exhibit (November 1999-January 2002) and accompanying catalogue, Gifts of Pride and Love: Kiowa and Comanche Cradles. She is a board member of the Wampanoag Indian Program at Plimoth Plantations, and a former board member of the Native American Art Studies Foundation and the New England Museum Association.