Exhibitions and Case Displays


My Siberian Year, 1914-1915

Until 28 February 2016

Showcase display to mark the centenary of the Oxford and Pennsylvania expedition to Siberia

In May 1914, Polish anthropologist Marie Antoinette Czaplicka set off for Siberia in charge of an expedition to study the reindeer-herding Evenki people. She was twenty-nine years old, had recently completed a diploma in anthropology at Oxford, and had started researching the peoples of Siberia, looking particularly at spirit worship and shamanism. This small temporary display of artefacts and photographs explores the expedition, the extraordinary hardships its members endured, and the Evenki people that were the focus of their research.


Paul Oliver

Architecture for All: The Photography of Paul Oliver

Until 10 January 2016

Long Gallery (Ground Floor)

This exhibition is the first to showcase the photography of Paul Oliver, the pioneer of vernacular architecture studies. Throughout his career, Oliver was as prolific a photographer as he was a writer. During his travels that took him to more than 70 countries, he took over 22,500 photographs that together capture the ingenuity, richness and diversity of the architectural traditions of the world. An amateur photographer driven by a strong curiosity about other peoples and cultures, Oliver documented building materials, technologies, forms, details and decorations, as well as the people that made, used and lived among them.

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Preserving What is Valued

29 June 2015 – 3 January 2016

Case display (Lower Gallery, First Floor)

This small temporary exhibition demonstrates how people from all parts of the world repair their material culture. Conservators study objects in great detail and part of their role is to determine at what stage a repair has been made. If the repair was made by the originating community while it was still in use this provides an additional level of information and can give the object a deeper resonance. Identifying an original repair can raise questions that make us think about the objects history differently.

The 1857-8 Delegation Portraits: Native American Photographs by Vannerson and Cohner

20 July – 15 November

Archive case display, first floor

A display of 16 photographs taken when tribal delegations came to sign treaties in Washington DC in the winter of 1857-8. Among the earliest photographic portraits of Native American people, the set exhibited was printed from the original negatives by William Blackmore and issued in 1865.

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