The changing role of migration museums in Australia
Curating relations between
‘us’ and ‘them’: the changing role
of migration museums in Australia1
I would also like to ask two related things … which have puzzled me since
a brief visit to the museum some years ago. One is to ask if you want donations of crafts and small items used in households in South Australia during
[the] last century? These are from the wave of first settlers, ie. Anglo-Celtic.
The related question is whether the museum is mainly about the subsequent
waves of settlers or is the history of the early mainly Anglo
What is the future of curatorial practice? How can the relationships between Indigenous people in the Pacific, collections in Euro-American institutions and curatorial knowledge in museums globally be (re)conceptualised in reciprocal and symmetrical ways? Is there an ideal model, a ‘curatopia’, whether in the form of a utopia or dystopia, which can enable the reinvention of ethnographic museums and address their difficult colonial legacies? This volume addresses these questions by considering the current state of the play in curatorial practice, reviewing the different models and approaches operating in different museums, galleries and cultural organisations around the world, and debating the emerging concerns, challenges and opportunities. The subject areas range over native and tribal cultures, anthropology, art, history, migration and settler culture, among others. Topics covered include: contemporary curatorial theory, new museum trends, models and paradigms, the state of research and scholarship, the impact of new media and current issues such as curatorial leadership, collecting and collection access and use, exhibition development and community engagement. The volume is international in scope and covers three broad regions – Europe, North America and the Pacific. The contributors are leading and emerging scholars and practitioners in their respective fields, all of whom have worked in and with universities and museums, and are therefore perfectly placed to reshape the dialogue between academia and the professional museum world.
This book presents a study of material images and asks how an appreciation of the
making and unfolding of images and art alters archaeological accounts of
prehistoric and historic societies. With contributions focusing on case studies
including prehistoric Britain, Scandinavia, Iberia, the Americas and Dynastic
Egypt, and including contemporary reflections on material images, it makes a
novel contribution to ongoing debates relating to archaeological art and images.
The book offers a New Materialist analysis of archaeological imagery, with an
emphasis on considering the material character of images and their making and
unfolding. The book reassesses the predominantly representational paradigm of
archaeological image analysis and argues for the importance of considering the
ontology of images. It considers images as processes or events and introduces
the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of
possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is
divided into three sections: ‘Emergent images’, which focuses on practices of
making; ‘Images as process’, which examines the making and role of images in
prehistoric societies; and ‘Unfolding images’, which focuses on how images
change as they are made and circulated. The book features contributions from
archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists. The contributors to
the book highlight the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic
societies, demonstrating that archaeologists need to recognise the dynamic and
changeable character of images.
concerned with what lies behind the creation and
resourcing of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa), the
Musée du Quai Branly or the National Museum of Australia, the ascendancy of the British Museum, or museum-friendly policies on the part of
governments and local authorities – though of course there is much to be
said about new conceptions of culture and governance, and the growing
preoccupation with tourism as a driver for urban regeneration and economic growth. I am interested, rather, in how we (curators of ethnographic
collections) conceive of what we
of the professional role of history curator, like the notion of academic
history, is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Curating Te Papa 1998
By the time New Zealand’s national museum was being developed into
what would become Te Papa, with an avowed focus on multidisciplinary
displays, the curating and exhibiting of history looked very different. The
form of this ‘new’ history was shaped by a range of factors familiar to those
in other revamped national museums in Canada and Australia at this time:
the wider political and social context, ideas about popular
Remaking the ethnographic museum in the global contemporary
Viv Golding and Wayne Modest
are emotionally fraught.32
How can this thinking be translated into museum practice? We
want to illustrate this through the Australian Aboriginal artist Christian
Thompson’s ongoing collaboration with the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford,
UK. Thompson was born in 1978 to a father of the Bidjara Indigenous
people of central South West Queensland, Australia, and a mother of British
heritage. He was educated in the Netherlands and in England, winning a
Charlie Perkins Scholarship to the University of Oxford in 2010, making
him one of the first two Australian Aboriginal
Pluralism and the politics of change in Canada’s national museums
Ruth B. Phillips
video presentations, a billboard piece in the old market area
nearby, and satellite exhibits in nine other art galleries and exhibition spaces
in the city. The NGC curators Greg Hill and Christine Lalonde, and guest
curator Candice Hopkins, are specialists in North American Aboriginal
art. Working with an international advisory committee scattered around
the globe, they selected seventy-seven artists from Canada, the USA,
Greenland, Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Samoa, Hawai’i, Mexico,
Columbia, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, India and Scandinavia.29
Other messages were
Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels, Belgium.
13 Museum voor Volkenkunde, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
14 The Pyramid, Memphis, Egypt, and Florida International Museum, Saint
15 Petit Palais, Paris, France.
16 City Art Centre, Edinburgh, UK.
17 Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA.
18 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
19 National Geographic Museum, Washington DC, and the Irving Arts Centre.
20 Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA.
21 Musée des Beaux Arts, Montreal, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada
Experiences (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press,
2014), pp. 206–46. See also Kahanu, Nepia and Schorch, Chapter 18 below.
17 G. Edgers, ‘Ritual Offerings, Peabody Essex Museum’, Boston Globe (10
August 2006), quoting a museum spokesperson. I repeat this observation from
I. Gaskell, ‘Encountering Pacific Art’, Journal of Museum Ethnography, 21
18 T.P. Kāwika Tengan, ‘The Mana of Kū: Indigenous Nationhood, Masculinity
and Authority in Hawai’i’, in New Mana: Transformations of a Classic Concept in
Pacific Languages and Cultures (Canberra: Australian
Ing-Marie Back Danielsson and Andrew Meirion Jones
images alter (as archaeologists, as anthropologists,
as artists) when we consider the image not as a static entity, but in-themaking. In that sense, we agree with Gosden and Malafouris’s (2015)
plea for a focus on process in archaeological analysis. Our focus on
process here is more modest than Gosden and Malafouris’s expansive
prospectus and we mainly pursue art and images as they emerge in
practices of making and engagement in the past, and through practices
of analysis in the present.
The Australian artist and theorist Barbara Bolt (2004: 13–14) draws