Books

I have published extensively in the areas of visual culture, critical museology, history of collecting and various aspects of Mexican cultural history. My works include Art, Anthropology, and Aesthetics (with J. Coote eds., 1992); Museums and Changing Perspectives of Culture (1995); Fetishism: Visualizing Power and Desire (1995); Collectors: Individuals and Institutions (2001); Collectors: Expressions of Self and Others (2001), Luminescence: The Silver of Peru (2012), Heaven and Hell and Somewhere in Between: Portuguese Popular Art (2015), Under Different Moons: African Art in Conversation (2021) and Theatrum Mundi, Masks and Masquerades in Mexico and the Andes (2021).

Authored Books

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Under Different Moons: African Art in Conversation.

Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing and UBC MOA, 2021. Pp. 236

 

Under Different Moons: African Art in Conversation shares—for the first time in print—the UBC Museum of Anthropology’s extensive collection of objects from dozens of African cultures, gathered over nearly a century. These include masks from the Baule peoples of Côte d’Ivoire, the Bijogos people of Guinea Bissau, and the Dogon peoples of Mali; three Bamana / Bozo puppet sets from Mali and Burkina Faso, with floats, cloth awnings and related animal masks as well as masterworks from other Canadian museum collections. Throughout the book are beautiful photos of over 100 objects from the collection, as well as a dozen photos of contemporary artworks by Nigerian and Nigerian-Canadian artists.

 

The first part of the book, by Anthony Alan Shelton, draws on expansive ethnographic literature to contextualize MOA’s collection within seven themes that reoccur in a wide number of societies across the African continent as well as in areas of Brazil and the Caribbean. In the second part, Titilope Salami focuses on contemporary Nigerian and diasporic artists to show the continued relevance of ritual practices in Nigerian artworks. And in the third part, Nuno Porto examines specific items in MOA’s collection to reveal the social, historical, and market networks in which they once circulated and the changing significances ascribed them.

Under Different Moons is part of a wider attempt to bring to public attention, especially that of African and diasporic Canadian communities, parts of an important cultural legacy, safeguarded in museums across the country, that can help empower new sectors and generations of citizens and widen the breadth and understanding of Canada’s multi- and intercultural character.

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Theatrum Mundi, Masks and Masquerades in Mexico and the Andes.

Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing and UBC MOA, 2021. Pp. 239

 

Theatrum Mundi (“the theatre of the world”) describes the diversity of masks and performances that originated from the violent struggles between European, Arabic and “New World” civilizations. This authoritative study celebrates over 500 years of Mexican and South American Indigenous dance dramas and explains how mask makers, religious practitioners, masqueraders and entrepreneurs have helped to continuously reinvent, revitalize and express the changing world around them.

This book is the culmination of Dr. Anthony Shelton's four decades of research on Latin American masks and masquerades, the text is illustrated by field photographs and images from MOA and other notable mask collections.

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From Carnival to Lucha Libre. Mexican Masks and Devotions / Do Carnaval à Luta  Libre: Máscaras e Devoções Mexicanas 

(co-authored with Nicola Levell). Lisbon, Museu de Lisboa, 2017. Pp. 206

 

From Carnival to Lucha Libre: Mexican Masks and Devotions offers a series of glimpses into some of the most ingenious expressions of Mexico’s collective imagination, made and performed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Unlike previous books on Mexican masks, From Carnival to Lucha Libre not only invites us to reflect on the relations between Indigenous and mestizo ceremonial and commercial masks and masquerades, but expands the lens to encompass the distinctive masks worn by the luchadores (wrestlers) and devoted fans of lucha libre, Mexico’s iconic wrestling culture.

 

The book illustrates with over 300 masks, as well as films and posters and a selection of superb photographs of luchadores by the celebrated visual artist Lourdes Grobet. The organization of the book follows the layout of the exhibition. Immersion begins in room one, Mirrored Worlds, with Tlaxcala carnival masks and masquerades featuring catrines, depictions of European dandies once credited with supernatural powers to bring the rains. Mirrored Worlds leads to room two, Theatres of Memory, and its rich display of ceremonial masks, including devils, tigers, Spaniards, Africans and Moors, to name just a few of the characters engaged in the millenarian battles between good and evil. Room three, the Mexican Imaginarium, is full of fantastic creations, from masks representing bats, alligators and other animals, to demons, mermaids and plumed serpents, ingeniously created by Mexican artists in response to market demand. From the Imaginarium, we step into the world of lucha libre, in films, posters, masks and images to encounter the legendary luchadores of the ring, the reel, and the still.

 

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Heaven, Hell and Somewhere In Between: Portuguese Popular Art.

Vancouver and Berkeley, Figure 1 Publishing and UBC MOA, 2015. Pp 284

 

Heaven, Hell and Somewhere In Between combines an in-depth analysis of Portuguese popular art and culture with stunning photographs of forty artworks—ceramics, masks, puppets—and another sixty supporting images, from medieval frescoes and roadside icons to graffiti and images of carnival performers and artisans at work in their studios. Complex, contemporary, theatrical, political, and often controversial, this is the theatre of a nation, where official ideologies collide with homegrown art and culture to give rise to deeply felt emotions that range from ecstasy and transcendence to suffering and penitence.

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Edited Volumes

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Luminescence: The Silver of Peru [printed in English and Spanish] 

Lima, Patronato Plata del Peru. 2012

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The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia

(Co-editor, with Carol Mayer). Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre Publishing. 2009

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Collectors. Expressions of Self and Other

London and Coimbra, The Horniman Museum and the Museu Antropologica da Universidade de Coimbra.

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Collectors. Individuals and Institutions.

London and Coimbra, The Horniman Museum and the Museu Antropologica da Universidade de Coimbra.

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Masks.

London, Stratagems / The Prince’s Trust.

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Fetishism: Visualising Power and Desire.

London, Southbank Centre / Lund Humphries.

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Anthropology, Art and Aesthetics

(co-editor with J. Coote), Oxford, Clarendon Press.

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Book Chapters

2019

Time, Fictions and Heterotopias. The Critical Museology of Fernando Estévez González. In M. Henríquez and M. de Santa Ana (eds.), Fernando Estévez Museopatías. Madrid, Fundación César Manrique. Pp. 15-49 (Spanish) 209-240 (English).

2019

Critical Anthropologies and the Resurgences of Culture Museums: Alternative Histories. In J. MacClancy (ed.), Exotic No More, Second Edition: Anthropology for the Contemporary World. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 363 – 380.

2019

Baroque Modernity. Critique and Indigenous Epistemologies in Museum Representations of the Andes and the Amazon. In P. Schorch and C. McCarthy (eds.), Curotopia: Museums and the Future of Curatorship. Manchester University Press. Pp. 124 - 142.

2018

Heterodoxy, and the Internationalization and Regionalization of Museums and Museologies: A Foreword. In T. Laely, M. Meyer, and R. Schwere (eds.). Museum Cooperation Between Africa and Europe. A New Field for Museum Studies. Bielefeld: Transcript & Kampala: Fountain Publishers. Pp. xv – xx.

2018

Humboldt Forum: New Anthropologies for Old Collections. In N. Sanz, (ed.), Museums and Dialogues Between Cultures, UNESCO, Mexico. Pp. 179 – 189.

2018

Critical Museology. In Sandra Lopez Varela (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences. John Wiley & Sons. https://www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781119188230.

2018

Cosmopolis: The Pivot of the World. In N. Sanz et al (eds), Ciudad de México: lugar donde las culturas dialogan. UNESCO, Mexico. Pp. 89 – 95.

2017

Museums and Culture. In P. Nemetz, P. Tortell and M. Young (eds.), Reflections of Canada: Illuminating Our Opportunities and Challenges at 150+ Years. Vancouver, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, UBC: 145-150.

2017

Calendars, Dreams and Timequakes: Mexican Masks and Devotions. In A. Shelton and N. Levell (eds.), From Carnival to Lucha Libre. Mexican Masks and Devotions. Lisbon, Museu de Lisboa. Pp 31-84.

2016

Entangled Agencies: Museums as Cultural Generators. In Chi-Ming Chen (ed.), Restoration and Rejuvenation of Cultural and Natural Heritage: a Museological Perspective. Taiwan, The National Taiwan Museum: 15-32.

2015

Museum Practice and Mediation: An Afterword. In C. McCarthy (ed.), The International Handbooks of Museum Studies. London and New York, Routledge. 27:613–634.

2013

Dreaming with Open Eyes: Mexicanizing Surrealism, Remembering Mexico. In N. Levell (ed.), The Marvellous Real: Art from Mexico 1926 – 2011. Vancouver, Figure 1 Publishing and UBC MOA: 33-59.

2013

Expressions of Being: Masks and Masquerade in Mexico and the Andes. In J. Mack (ed.), Masks: The Art of Expression. London, The British Museum Press: 82-105.

2013

Nomadic Aesthetics and the Importance of Place. In F. Deftari and J. Baird (eds.), Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian, and Turkish Artists. Vancouver, D&M Publishing: 2-7.

2012

Introduction. In A. Shelton (ed.), Luminescence: The Silver of Peru. Lima, Patronato Plata del Peru: 7-10.

2012

Luminescence. Silver and World-Views in the Andes. 1400-2000. In A. Shelton (ed.), Luminescence: The Silver of Peru. Lima, Patronato Plata del Peru: 73-102.

2012

The Divine Exchange. Silver in Colonial and Republican Peru. In A. Shelton (ed.), Luminescence: The Silver of Peru. Lima, Patronato Plata del Peru: 53-70.

2011

42, Rue Fontaine. In D. Ades and J. Penner (eds.), The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution In Art. Vancouver, D&M Publishing: 211-217.

2010

From Theory to Practice: Redrawing Museumscapes. In G. Yong Lee, S. Yeon Gim, E. Jung Park and S. Woo Nam (eds.), Towards a Newer Silk Road (International Workshop Book for Developing Exhibition Contents), Gwangiu, Asian Culture Complex.

2007

The Collector’s Zeal: Towards an Anthropology of Intentionality, Instrumentality & Desire. In P. ter Keurs (ed.), Colonial Collections Revisited. Leiden, CNWS: 16-44.

2006

Museums and Museum Displays. In C. Tilley, W. Keane, S. Kuechler, M. Rowlands and P. Spyer (eds.), Handbook of Material Culture. London, Sage: 480-499.

2006

Museums and Anthropologies. Practices and Narratives. In S. Macdonald (ed.), A Companion to Museum Studies. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing: 64-80.

2005

The Imaginary Southwest: Commodity Disavowal in an American Orient. In M. Coquet, B. Derlon and M. Jeudy-Ballini (eds.), Les cultures à l’ouvre Rencontres en art. Paris, Biro éditeur: 75-96.

2004

The Performative Life of Narratives. European Chivalric Literature and the Dances of the Moors and Christians. In Ghulam Sarwar-Yousof (ed.), Asian-European Epics. Kuala Lumpur, University of Malaya Press.

2002

The Aztec Theatre State and the Dramatisation of War. In T.J. Cornell and T. B. Allen (eds.), War and Games. Rochester, The Boydell Press: 107-135.

2001

Rational Passions. Frederick John Horniman and Institutional Collectors. In A. Shelton (ed.), Collectors. Expressions of Self and Others. London and Coimbra, The Horniman Museum and Museu Antropologica da Universidade de Coimbra: 205-223.

2001

The Ethnographic Collections of the Horniman Museum. A Descriptive Survey. In A. Shelton (ed.), Collectors. Individuals and Institutions. London and Coimbra, The Horniman Museum and Museu Antropologica da Universidade de Coimbra: 281-309.

2001

Unsettling the Meaning. Critical Museology, Art and Anthropological Discourse. In M. Bouquet (ed.), 2001. Academic Anthropology and the Museum. Back to the Future. New York and Oxford, Berghahn Books: 142-161. (First published in Focaal, 1999.)

2000

Museum Ethnography. An Imperial Science. In E. Hallam and B. Street (eds.), Cultural Encounters. Representing Otherness. New York and London, Routledge: 155-193.

1999

Unsettling the Meaning. Critical Museology, Art and Anthropological Discourse. Focaal. Tijdschrift voor antropologie (34): 143-161. (Republished in M. Bouquet (ed.), 2001.)

1998

The Heart of the World: The Conceptual Integrity of West and Central Mexico. In M. Holsbeke and K. Arnaut (eds), Offerings for a New Life. Funerary Images from Pre-Columbian West Mexico. Antwerp, Antwerp Ethnographic Museum: 40-52.

1997

Bivak: Semana Santa among the Huichol of San Andres Cohamiata. In R. Spicer and R. Crumrine (eds), Performing the Renewal of Community. Indigenous Easter Rituals in North Mexico and Southwest United States. Lanham, University Press of America. 487-512.

1996

Fetishism’s Culture. In N. Sinclaire (ed.), The Chameleon Body. Photographs of Contemporary Fetishism. London, Lund Humphries: 82-112.

1996

South American and Caribbean Bonework. Macmillan Dictionary of Art. London, Macmillan.

1996

Embodying the Unseen: The Play of Masks. In A. Shelton (ed), Masks. London, Stratagems / The Prince’s Trust: 8-13.

1996

Mesoamerican Masquerade. Macmillan Dictionary of Art. London, Macmillan.

1996

The Girl Who Ground Herself: Huichol Attitudes to Maize. In S. Scaefer and P. Furst (eds), People of the Peyote. Huichol Indian History, Religion and Survival. Albuquerque and London, University of New Mexico Press: 451- 467.

1996

South American Masquerade. Macmillan Dictionary of Art. London, Macmillan.

1996

Mesoamerican Shellwork. In Macmillan Dictionary of Art. London, Macmillan.

1996

Mesoamerican Bonework. Macmillan Dictionary of Art, London, Macmillan.

1996

Journeying Between Worlds: The Masks of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. In A. Shelton (ed), Masks. London, Stratagems / The Prince’s Trust: 14-23.

1995

Dispossessed Histories: Mexican Museums and the Institutionalisation of the Past. In A. Shelton (ed.), Museums and Changing Perspectives of Culture. Cultural Dynamics 7(1): 69-100.

1995

The Chameleon Body: Power, Mutilation and Sexuality. In A. Shelton (ed.), Fetishism: Visualising Power and Desire. London, Southbank Centre / Lund Humphries: 11-51.

1995

Museums: Holds of Meanings, Cargoes of Recollections. In G. Hilty, A. Shelton and D. Reason (eds), Hold: Acquisition, Representation and Perception. Brighton, The Green Centre for Non-Western Art and Culture, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

1994

Fictions and Parodies: Masquerade in Mexico and South America. In John Mack (ed.), Masks. The Art of Expression. London, British Museum Press: 82-105.

1994

Cabinets for Transgressions: Renaissance Collections and the Incorporation of the New World. In J. Elsnor and R. Cardinal (eds), The Cultures of Collecting. London, Reaktion Books: 177-203.

1992

The Aztec Cihuateteo: An Image of the Apocalyptic Woman. In N. Saunders and O. Montmollin (eds), Contributions to New World Archaeology. Oxford, Oxbow Books: 1-17.

1992

Predicates of Aesthetic Judgement: Ontology and Value in Huichol Material Expressions. In J. Coote and A. Shelton (eds), Anthropology, Art and Aesthetics. Oxford, Clarendon Press: 209-244.

1990

In the Lair of the Monkey: Notes Towards a Post-Modernist Museography. In S. Pearce (ed.), Objects of Knowledge. London, Athlone: 78-102.

1990

The Recollection of Times Past: Memory and Event in Huichol Narrative. In M. N Bourguet, L. Valensi and N. Wachtel (eds), Between Memory and History. Chur, Harwood Academic Press. (First published in History and Anthropology 1986.)

Book Introductions, Prefaces & Forwards

2017

(with N. Levell). Introduction. In A. Shelton and N. Levell (eds.), From Carnival to Lucha Libre. Mexican Masks and Devotions. Lisbon, Museu de Lisboa. Pp. 21-30.

2008

Foreword. In S. R. Butler, Contested Representations: Revisiting Into the Heart of Africa. Toronto, Broadview Press: 1-3.

2001

Introduction. The Return of the Subject. In A. Shelton (ed.), Collectors. Expressions of Self and Other. London and Coimbra, The Horniman Museum and Museu Antropologica da Universidade de Coimbra: 11-22.

2001

Introduction. Doubts Affirmations. In A. Shelton (ed.), Collectors. Individuals and Institutions. London and Coimbra, The Horniman Museum and the Museu Antropologica da Universidade de Coimbra: 13-22.

2000

Preface. In K. Arnaut (ed.), Re-visions. New Perspectives on the African Collections of the Horniman Museum. London and Coimbra, The Horniman Museum and the Museu Antropologica da Universidade de Coimbra: 9-12.

1995

Introduction. Sonia Boyce, Peep. London, Institute of International Visual Arts. 1-3.

1992

(with J. Coote) Introduction. In J. Coote and A. Shelton (eds), Anthropology, Art and Aesthetics. Oxford, Clarendon Press. 1-11.