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Film Screening - "Headhunt Revisited"

American artist Caroline Mytinger visited Melanesia—then known as “the land of the headhunters”—in the 1920s, as part of an audacious quest to paint unspoiled civilizations. Her journey was nothing short of amazing. Four years later, Mytinger returned with a wealth of ethnographic material, including 25 oil paintings, more than 40 sketches, and enough notes for two published books. Today, her art is recognized as one of the first and only color interpretations of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the early 20th century.

Directed by Michele Westmorland FN ’95 and narrated by Lauren Hutton, Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas and Camera retraces Mytinger’s improbable journey and looks at the time-traveling power of her art. More than eighty years later, Mytinger’s paintings light a spark in two contemporary artists. One is Westmorland, a photographer who sets out in 2005 to learn how the culture that fascinated Mytinger has evolved over the past century. The other is Jeffry Feeger, a renowned contemporary Papua New Guinean portrait artist who immediately sees in Mytinger’s work a singular depiction not only of Melanesians but of humanity—and decides to produce a series of his own in response, helping to bring her legacy full circle.

Armed with a camera and prints of Caroline’s original artwork, Westmorland engages Melanesians in a discussion of their past and present. Like the companion art exhibit of the same name, Headhunt Revisited shines a light on the people, traditions, and fascinating history of this unique part of the world. The film was shot during an Explorers Club expedition in 2005 that was led by Westmorland and carried Flag #46.

Filmmaker Michele Westmorland will present the film and do a Q&A following the screening.

For the trailer and more info, visit

Michele Westmorland FN’95 is a freelance photographer whose work has appeared in Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, and other magazines. A veteran diver, she was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2011. Westmorland has been an active proponent of marine conservation issues and serves as a Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. Her interest in Mytinger goes back as far as 1995, when she received Mytinger’s book New Guinea Headhunt as a gift.

Runtime: 76 min

Date: Thursday, October 18th

Time: 6:00 Reception, 7:00 Screening, Q&A to follow

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: $10

Guest Ticket Price: $25

Student Ticket Price: $5 with valid student ID

Reservation Notes:

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste