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I am of mixed Irish and French ancestry, the son of Alan Shelton and Phyllis Leivers, and hold British and Canadian citizenship. Having lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Mexico, Japan and the United States, and undertaken consultancy work in Europe, Asia and the Americas, I bring an international, inquiring and open perspective to my museum, curatorial and academic projects and writings. I have curated twenty-one exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Canada. I have authored 199 books, catalogues, chapters, articles, forewords, and reviews on museums, collections and the politics and visual cultures of Latin America, Mexico and the Iberian Peninsula. I have delivered 196 conference papers, keynote addresses, research papers and talks and have been a discussant at universities and museums worldwide.


I am committed to the values of an open, tolerant and just society that acknowledges the centrality of shared human, social and environmental rights; commitment to a common wellbeing and the safeguarding of academic, cultural and artistic freedoms. 

Guadalupe Ocotán, Nayarit 1980
Royal Pavillion Museum 1995
Vancouver Conferment of Knighthood 2016



University of Oxford

DPhil., Social Anthropology.

Thesis: The Wixarica. A Highland Peoples of Northwest Mexico


University of Oxford

MLitt., Social Anthropology.

Thesis: Some Problems in the Comparative Study of  the Concept of Time 


University of Hull

BA (Hons.), Sociology and Social Anthropology

Fellowships & Honours


Fellow, Canadian Museums Association


International Visiting Professor, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan


Knighted for services to Portugese culture, Confraria do Vinho do Porto, Portugal

2007 - present

Fellow, and Member of Common Room Green College, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

1998 - 2002

Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University College London, UK 

1991 - 1995

Research Fellow, School of African and Asian Studies, University of Sussex, UK

1989 - 1990

Visiting Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA

Curated Exhibits and Consultation

2004 - 2021 

Curator of three exhibtions, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver


Curator, Do Carnaval à Luta Livre: Máscaras e Devoções Mexicanas, Museu de Lisboa, Lisbon


Curator, Luminescence: The Silver of Peru, University of Toronto Art Center

1996 - 2001

Curator of seven exhibitions, Horniman Museum, London


Consultant, Offerings for a New Life. Funerary Images from Pre-Columbian West MexicoAntwerp Ethnographic Museum

1991 - 1995

Curator of six exhibitions, Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery and Museums, Brighton

1989 - 1990

Consultant, What is Jewellery? Craft Council Gallery, London


Consultant, Altars and Idols: The Life of the Dead in Mexico, University of Essex Gallery, Colchester

1985 - 1991

Curator of two exhibitions, British Museum (Museum of Mankind), London


Consultant, Latin American Art.Hayward Gallery, London (with venues in Stockholm and Madrid)


Curator, Images of Heaven, Images of Earth: Mexican Indian Masks,Wolfson College, Oxford

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