Natural History Magazine: Photographs by Marjorie Gowie

Authored by Rachel Sferlazza

Amityville Public Library

Photo-journalistic essay by Marjorie Gowie inside

For my Academic Service Learning Project, I processed a previously untouched collection. This collection was kept in a box labeled, “African Handicrafts Collection,” which contained artifacts from South Africa, made by the Xhosa tribe. Included along with these items were a series of photographs taken by Marjorie Gowie, along with a copy of the Natural History magazine some of those photographs appeared in. The magazine, which is still currently published, contains six of the twelve photographs donated to Amityville Public Library. When I arrived at the Library, this collection had never been processed. Almost nothing was known about this collection, though the name “MARJORIE GOWIE” was stamped in capitals on the back of each photograph. The American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Anthropology has a similar collection of Xhosa artifacts, but its descriptions are also vague, in favor of photographic documentation (AMNH). My research would reveal that Gowie was a South-African-born photographer, who lived in Manhattan (, n.d.). Continue reading