P. Humphry Greenwood portrait

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Michael Oliver
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P. Humphry Greenwood portrait

Post by Michael Oliver » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:32 pm

Greetings, fellow cichlid lovers! I'm sure you have all heard of P.H. Greenwood, whatever your opinion may be about his division of Haplochromis into multiple genera. But, do you have any idea what he looked like? I recently tried to find any pictures of him online and found none at all, to my great surprise. I know of one not-very-good black-and-white photo of him published in one of his obituaries; nothing else.

Well, my involvement with cichlids goes back to my teenage years in the 1960s. The first time I visited the British Museum (Natural History) -- as it was then called (now simply The Natural History Museum) -- I somehow had the chutzpah to go and visit the Fish Section on September 30, 1968, where for the first time I met Humphry, as well as Ethelwynn Trewavas and other staff. A few years later I returned several times as a student and had the thrill of working for periods of a few days to several months in the museum beside these wonderful characters. Anyway, on that first visit, Greenwood and I chatted about African fish for a few minutes and then I asked him to let me take his picture. He grudgingly agreed. I took a single shot. Somehow, I managed to get what I think is a great portrait. He looks absolutely typical in it: you can see the look of bemusement (must be thinking something close to "What the bloody hell does this young American git think he's doing!?"). He was at his work bench, and the photo even includes his microscope with an African cichlid under it; I think it was a riverine hap. He was 41 at the time. I've just posted the photo on Wikimedia Commons. Here it is:
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... enwood.jpg
Michael K. Oliver, Ph.D.

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Juan Artigas
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Re: P. Humphry Greenwood portrait

Post by Juan Artigas » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:06 am

Fascinating. I always wondered how he looked like. Thank so much!
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Re: P. Humphry Greenwood portrait

Post by Lisachromis » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:29 am

That is a great shot! Nice to know what the people who do the "fish work" look like. :D

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Re: P. Humphry Greenwood portrait

Post by Michael Oliver » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:59 pm

Thanks, Juan! Thanks, Lisa! I appreciate your nice comments, guys. My little contribution to the history of ichthyology. You never know; this could be "the" portrait of Greenwood in the future. Or, not.....
Michael K. Oliver, Ph.D.

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Re: P. Humphry Greenwood portrait

Post by Lisachromis » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:22 pm

So, does this mean we get to see a pic of you sometime Michael? :)

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Re: P. Humphry Greenwood portrait

Post by Juan Artigas » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:33 pm

Juan Miguel Artigas
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http://www.cichlidae.info

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Michael Oliver
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Re: P. Humphry Greenwood portrait

Post by Michael Oliver » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:29 pm

Sure, Juan Miguel; that's right - point Lisa to that one, where I look like a crazed chipmunk! :lol:
Another is at http://www.malawi.org.pl/?view1=wywiady&view3=00005
Michael K. Oliver, Ph.D.

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