A Life of Emilie Demant Hatt, Artist and Ethnographer
Available fall 2017 from the University of Wisconsin Press
“A fascinating story of a talented woman’s unconventional career at the outset of the twentieth century. Through Sjoholm’s meticulous archival investigation, Emilie Demant Hatt emerges as a woman of tremendous energy, insight, and vision, unafraid to cross the various academic, artistic, and cultural barriers of her time.”—Thomas A. DuBois, translator of Johan Turi’s An Account of the Sámi
In 1904, a young Danish artist met a Sami wolf hunter on a train in Sweden. This chance encounter of Emilie Demant with Johan Turi transformed both their lives. In 1907–8, she lived with Sami families in their tents and on migrations, later writing a lively account of her experiences. She collaborated with Turi on his book about the Sami and translated it into Danish. On her own and later with her husband Gudmund Hatt, she roamed on foot through Sápmi as an ethnographer and folklorist. As an artist, she created an extensive body of work, often focused on Sami motifs.
In recounting Demant Hatt’s groundbreaking collaboration with Turi, her writing, art, and fieldwork among women and children, biographer Barbara Sjoholm investigates the boundaries and influences between ethnographers and sources, the nature of authorship and visual representation, and the state of anthropology, racial biology, and politics in Scandinavia during the first half of the twentieth century.