Pacific Presences (Volume 1): Oceanic Art and European Museums

Lucie Carreau (Editor), Alison Clarke (Editor), Alana Jelinek (Editor), Erna Lilja (Editor), Nicholas Thomas (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Hundreds of thousands of works of art and artefacts from many parts of the Pacific are dispersed across European museums. They range from seemingly quotidian things such as fish-hooks and baskets to great sculptures of divinities, architectural forms and canoes. These collections constitute a remarkable resource for understanding history and society across Oceania, cross-cultural encounters since the voyages of Captain Cook, and the colonial transformations that have taken place since. They are also collections of profound importance for Islanders today, who have varied responses to their displaced heritage, and renewed interest in ancestral forms and practices.

This two-volume book enlarges understandings of Oceanic art and enables new reflection upon museums and ways of working in and around them. In dialogue with Islanders’ perspectives, It exemplifies a growing commitment on the part of scholars and curators to work collaboratively and responsively.

Volume I focuses on the historical formation of ethnographic museums within Europe, the making of those institutions’ Pacific collections, and the activation and re-activation of those collections, over time and in the present.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherSidestone Press
Commissioning bodyEuropean Commission (EC) - Horizon 2020
Number of pages254
ISBN (Print)9789088905896
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePacific Presences
PublisherSidestone Press


  • Museums and Galleries
  • oceania
  • colonialism
  • collections


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