Being Collected: Aboriginal Objects in the British Museum

27 Oct 2022.

Work-box, British Museum Oc.1872 (Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum)

Much is often said about the British Museum and objects collected in colonial times. This presentation will firstly explore the history of the 19th century Aboriginal collections in the British Museum, with a particular focus on New South Wales. Looking at what, when and how objects were collected, it will explore the idiosyncratic ways this collection was formed and the various participants in the process. It will then present some of the ways the British Museum has been working with Australian institutions and communities, including in Sydney, over the past ten years to revitalise these collections with new meanings and histories.

About the Speaker

Gaye Sculthorpe is a Palawa woman from Tasmania, currently working at Deakin University as Research Professor, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies in the Alfred Deakin Institute of Citizenship and Globalisation. She took up this position in August 2022 after working for almost ten years as a curator and Section Head, Oceania, in the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the British Museum. Prior to working in London, Gaye worked in Australia as a Member of the National Native Title Tribunal and at Museums Victoria, Melbourne.

Image: Work-box, British Museum Oc.1872 (Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum)

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