Solving the Rockefeller Mystery
In partnership with the Boshell Family Lecture Series for World Art and Archaeology
Always up for an adventure, Carl Hoffman is part T. E. Lawrence, part Indiana Jones, with a dash of Tom Sawyer. His career as a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler and an award-winning journalist has taken him to over 65 countries. He is the author of The Lunatic Express, a book that takes the reader on a global odyssey using the sketchiest forms of transportation. He traveled the Taliban-infested back roads of Afghanistan, rode packed trains in Mumbai, and braved the squalid ferries through the Indonesian archipelago. The Wall Street Journal named it one of the “Ten Best Books of 2010.”
Hoffman’s forthcoming book, Savage Harvest (March 18), uncovers the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in remote New Guinea in 1961. On the island collecting tribal artifacts for the Museum of Primitive Art, 23-year-old Rockefeller was fascinated with the culture and art of the Asmat, a local tribe that lived on the island. One afternoon, his canoe capsized. His companion was rescued at sea, but Rockefeller disappeared after attempting to swim to shore. Rumors circulated that he had been killed and cannibalized by the locals or that he simply decided to walk away from the pressures and expectations of his family. For 50 years, his fate remained a secret. Combining history, art, colonialism, adventure, and ethnography, Savage Harvest is a mesmerizing whodunit.
6:30 p.m. Enjoy tours of works from New Guinea in the DMA’s collection. Please send an e-mail to ArtsandLettersLive@DMA.org to sign up!