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Roy Flukinger, a University of Texas photography curator, once wrote that Eliot Elisofon (1911-1973) was the “prototypical LIFE photographer—energetic, creative, brash, unstoppable, globetrotting, always in motion, outspoken, sometimes egotistical, but at all times thoroughly professional.” Elisofon, a LIFE magazine staff photographer from 1942 to 1964, undertook many assignments, but his special passion was Africa; he made nine expeditions there, including a trek from Capetown to Cairo. Late in his life, Elisofon donated 80,000 of his African photographs, his papers, and 700 pieces of African art to the institution that would become the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. On the 40th anniversary of the archives that bear his name, the museum is mounting a retrospective that pairs Elisofon’s photographs with objects, films, books, and journals.