Melanesia: Art and Encounter

Hardback: $75.00
ISBN-13: 9780824838539
Published: July 2013

Additional Information

382 pages | 306 color illustrations
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  • About the Book
  • Melanesia is one of the most culturally diverse and artistically fertile regions of the world. This book is an exporation of one of the richest collections of Melanesian art, that of the British Museum. It is the product of sustained dialogue with people from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, West Papua, and New Caledonia, who are authors or co-authors of many of its chapters.

    Melanesia: Art and Encounter is a companion to this outstanding collection. The book ranges over an extraordinary variety of historic and modern art forms, from striking masks and shell valuables to intricately woven fabrics, string bags, and paintings on canvas. It investigates histories of exploration and exchange, conversion to Christianity and cultural revival, drawing upon a wealth of new information gleaned from archives, photographs, oral histories, and dialogue with Melanesians. The book is a revelation, not only of the arts of Melanesia, but also of the challenges and possibilities of collaborative research today.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Lissant Bolton, Editor

      Lissant Bolton is curator for Oceania at the British Museum.
    • Nicholas Thomas, Editor

      Nicholas Thomas is director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge. He first visited the Pacific in 1984 to research his PhD thesis on the Marquesas Islands. He has since written extensively on art, empire, and related themes, and curated exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, many in collaboration with contemporary artists. His early book, Entangled Objects, influentially contributed to a revival of material culture studies. He went on to publish, among other works, Oceanic Art in the Thames and Hudson World of Art series and Islanders: The Pacific in the Age of Empire, which was awarded the Wolfson History Prize.
    • Elizabeth Bonshek, Editor

    • Julie Adams, Editor

    • Ben Burt, Editor