15 December 2016

Jobs Vacancies: Project Assistant - Pitt Rivers Museum Reserve Collections Move Project (6 posts)

Grade 4: £21,220 - £24,565 p.a.

The Pitt Rivers Museum is seeking six Project Assistants for a fixed period to work as part of a team to document, pack and move objects in a significant reserve collection currently housed in a large split-level off-site museum store.
The Project Assistants, coordinated by the Team Leader, will be required to participate in the documentation, packing and storage of objects in a safe manner and within the project deadline. The project team will be responsible to the Museum’s senior staff, including the heads of collections and conservation sections, working ultimately to the Museum’s Director and Head of Administration and Finance. The post will be based in a museum store and requires standing, regularly using stairs, and lifting objects and packed boxes.
Full details of the post are available in the job description. The essential requirements include experience of working in a museum or equivalent heritage site; understanding, knowledge and experience of handling and packing complex and delicate organic artefacts and familiarity with the principles of museum security, museum storage of objects, museum conservation and handling of museum objects; ability to use critical thinking and independent judgement to interpret objects and information about them against standardised guidelines; and a proven ability to work effectively as part of a team.
Currently, there are six posts available. The six posts are fixed-term until 31 December 2017.
The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Friday 6 January 2017. Interviews are likely to take place in the week commencing 23 January 2017 with a preferred start date of 13 February 2017.
Visit the website for further particulars and to apply 

14 December 2016

Exhibition: South Africa – Art of a Nation

‘South Africa – Art of a Nation’ runs until 26 February 2017 at the British Museum. It is an exhibition that took more than two years to develop and involved partnerships with 12 institutions in South Africa and 20 contemporary artists. Chris Spring took 9 MEG members round on a curator’s tour on Thursday 8 December. We began in the Great Court standing beside the BMW car painted by the artist Esther Mahlangu in 1991. She was invited to paint BMW’s 12th art car to celebrate the end of apartheid, and BMW paid for its transport to the exhibition. Esther herself came over to see her work on show, and appears in one of the films of visiting artists made by the British Museum. Another short film shows the car being installed. 

The exhibition home-page has film of artist Lionel Davies with his piece that includes a street map of District 6, and a self-portrait. Mary Sibande’s film interview is also here, describing her ‘Reversed Retrogress’ work in which two women face each other, one representing her grandmother, and another in purple, herself. Purple was the colour of the dye that the apartheid police laced their water cannon with, which was later turned against them. 

The earliest item in the exhibition is a found pebble from Makapansgat with three circular indentations – two eyes and a mouth – collected 3 million years ago.  The exhibition contrasts ancient and new art in really interesting juxtapositions throughout. We loved it…

Thank you to Chris for taking the time to show us round.

6 December 2016

Free Workshop: Religion and Heritage on Display

Saturday 4th February 2017, 10.30am – 4.30pm

More and more exhibitions and displays are addressing religion and heritage. These projects are sometimes in museums and sometimes in places of worship, but they all seek to present religion (however defined) to a general public audience. This informal workshop will bring together reports on some of the more recent. The aim will be to enable people involved in new projects to exchange information and ideas.
Venue: Institute of Archaeology, Gordon Square, London, Room 612.
Nearest tubes: Euston / Euston Square.
Format: twenty-minute presentations, with an introduction and time for discussion.
Catering: teas/coffees will be provided, and participants invited to contribute to the cost. Packed lunches can be eaten in the Common Room or lunch obtained locally.

Chairs: Crispin Paine IoA UCL and John Reeve IoE UCL.
Speakers:  the following are confirmed:

·      Keynote: Marion Bowman OU    
       Marius Felderhof: Museum of World Religions project in Birmingham 
       Lucy Trench: Religion in the V&A European galleries.   
      Christopher Ferguson: '5000 Years of Faith' at Auckland Castle  
      Sarah Turner Canterbury Cathedral 
      Rebecca Bridgman Curator of Islamic & South Asian Art and Curatorial Team Leader     Birmingham Museums Trust 'Faith in Birmingham' gallery 
      Gemma Papineau Panacea Museum, Bedford  

Booking and Enquiries: to avoid overcrowding, please let Crispin know if you would like to come. First come, first served!   crispinpaine1@gmail.com

Sponsored by the Heritage Section of the Institute of Archaeology, UCL

22 November 2016

Museum cooperation between Africa and Europe: Opportunities, Challenges, and Modalities

Ethnographic Museum at the University of Zurich on 1 – 3 December 2016

The conference responds to the observation that so far cooperation was mainly unidirectional, displaying European exhibitions in African museums, or aiming to instruct African institutions in fields such as conservation, restoration, or curating, thereby following a development approach. Only very occasionally does collaboration focus on the practical implementation of joint projects, taking into consideration expectations, goals and needs of all the stakeholders.

In this conference with 25 speakers from Africa and Europe, past and current cooperation projects will be reviewed and discussed critically in order to learn from each other’s experiences and to develop new ideas for future endeavours.

For full conference programme see here

15 November 2016

MEG Tour of South Africa: the art of a nation at the British Museum

MEG Tour of South Africa: the art of a nation at the British Museum

Curator Christopher Spring has kindly offered to lead MEG members on a tour of the current BM South African art exhibition on Thursday 8 December at 11am. 12 places are available. To book your place on this tour please email Tony Eccles, MEG event officer, copying in MEG Chair Antonia Lovelace by the 7 December. We will meet by the main information desk in the Great Court of the British Museum at 10.45am.

In this exhibition a diverse range of art from across the ages tells a story that stretches back 100,000 years. From rock art made by the country’s earliest peoples to works by South African artists at the forefront of contemporary art, the exhibition features beautiful and important objects, which illustrate South Africa’s rich history. 

South Africa: the art of a nation is sponsored by Betsy and Jack Ryan and the logistics partner is IAG Cargo.

The development of this exhibition was supported by a Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grant from the Art Fund.

Images: Esther Mahlangu (b.1935), detail of a BMW Art Car 2, 1991. Copyright Esther Mahlangu. Photo copyright BMW Group Archives

Pair of Sotho Gun Cartridge Dolls, Glass, brass and leather, South Africa, Late nineteenth Century. Photo copyright the Trustees of the British Museum.