25 July 2014

An ethno update from the South East

Museum ethnography has a growing profile in the South East thanks to two initiatives currently underway, both funded through Arts Council England grant streams. One, initiated by Bexhill Museum, is about ‘Rediscovering Ethnography in Kent& Sussex’. Focussed largely on collections of ethnography in museums without dedicated specialist staff, the project aims to offer these organisations a better understanding of the strengths of these collections and of local communities which may wish to engage with them. The project will also explore the viability of setting up a regional network for those interested in museum ethnography and will share project learning with the sector through an event later this year.

New display cases being prepared for the ethnography collections at the Powell-Cottton Museum.

Ali Clark researching Pacific collections from the Powell-Cotton Museum. 

In Kent, ‘Securing the Future of the Past’ at the Powell-Cotton Museum is some way into the creation of a fantastic new collections-based learning space to present highlights from its permanent collection as well as offer visitors the chance to interact with its handling collection. New interpretation will also create greater public awareness of the value of Powell-Cotton’s natural history collection as a research resource. The new space opens late October but here’s a sneaky peek of new cases just installed as well as an image of the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge’s ‘Pacific Presences’ project in action - in the form of Ali Clark, post-doctoral research assistant - at the same museum.

Helen Mears
Keeper of World Art, Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

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