||Carl V. Hartman and the Costa Rica Collections
1890-1892 (and several months in 1893) Lumholtz Expedition to Mexico
Carl Lumholtz the Norwegian explorer led an expedition to the Sierra
Madre Mountains of Mexico. The
American Geographical Society of New York sponsors the expedition.
Hartman, who had originally signed on as a botanist became responsible
for the archaeological projects of the expedition while traveling
with the group. Hartman was in charge of Expedition camps and conducting
fieldwork. This marked the start of Hartman’s career change
from botanist to anthropologist.
1893 World’s Colombian
The World's Columbian Exposition took place in Chicago, Illinois.
The Exposition was a World's Fair in commemoration of Columbus' voyage
400 years prior but in practicality was an exhibition of American
culture and values. Over 27 million people visited the fair and viewed
exhibitions ranging from a machinery building showcasing the latest
in modern machinery to an exhibit of live humans from around the
world, each representing their culture and country. Hartman was employed
for six months working on anthropology exhibitions at the fair. He most
likely obtained the job through professional connections such as
The Costa Rican collection
being exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition was largely
headed by Anastasio Alfaro, the head of the
National Museum of Costa Rica. Alfaro was responsible for representing
his country and specifically his nation’s archaeological heritage
at the Exposition. Hartman first met Alfaro and first observed Costa
Rican artifacts at the Exposition. His job in Chicago was life-changing
for Hartman since it exposed him to anthropological exhibition and
reoriented his career toward the museum, the organization with which
he would define his life's work.
1894 10th International Congress of Americanists
At this professional conference in Stockholm, Sweden, Hartman was
able to present his first anthropological paper based on his own
research in Mexico. He was able to make contact with influential
persons in the emerging discipline of anthropology such as Alfaro,
Peralta, Theil, and Stolpe. Hartman went on to attend four more conferences
where his work would be well received and he would take on leadership
roles within the organization by serving as the chair of scientific
sessions, a member of council and eventually as Vice-President representing
1896-1899 Swedish Central American Expedition
The Swedish Society for
Anthropology and Geography as well as Åke
Sjögren, a Swedish scientist interested in Costa Rican archaeology,
sponsored an expedition to Costa Rica, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
Hartman led this expedition by conducting ethnographic and linguistic
studies and by amassing a great number of antiquities. Hartman subsequently
published three ethnographic publications on the work he conducted.
1903-1908 Carnegie Museum Curatorship
Hartman used his experience
from the World’s Colombian exposition
in his curatorial duties for the Carnegie museum. Hartman was responsible
for developing exhibitions, cataloging collections, and conducting research.
In his position as curator Hartman received his first true museum
experience and played an important role in educating the public in
1903 Costa Rican Expedition
Hartman traveled to Costa Rica on his own expedition sponsored by
the Carnegie Museum . He based his research out of the National
Museum of Costa Rica in San José . He excavated archaeological
sites in the Central Highlands and the Pacific Coast . Hartman developed
the second exhibition of Costa Rican antiquities in the Carnegie
Institute building and catalogued, photographed, and researched his
Costa Rican collection. Hartman would go on to write a large monograph
and several articles on the Costa Rican collection and present his
findings in the US and abroad.
Click here for a gallery of photos from the Costa Rican Expedition.