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Curatorial Book Projects

Print and online publications are essential to spread knowledge of museum collections and exhibitions and help to widen multi-cultural literacy. Of the four museums I have worked at, only the British Museum had a committed publications department, while the others depended on special fund-raising projects and serendipity to print major publications. Because of the reluctance of many academic presses to incorporate large numbers of illustrations in works and the reticence of many popular publishers to include scholarly texts, I felt it important to launch publication series of our own. The three series I founded at the Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery and Museums, the Horniman Museum, and at UBC MOA, followed a similar template, but used different funding formulae.

Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery and Museums

At the Royal Pavilion, I oversaw the publication of three titles: Kinyozi: The Art of African Hairstyles by Louise Tythacott; Hold. Acquisition, Representation and Perception: Work by Shirley Chubb by Greg Hilty, David Reason and Anthony Shelton, and Belief in China: Art and Politics; Deities and Morality by Robert Benewick and Stephanie Donald. Hold includes my chapter Museums: Holds of Meanings, Cargoes of Re-Collections.

Horniman Museum

At the Horniman Museum, we published nine titles, based mainly on research undertaken on the Museum's own history and collections. The series was named: Contributions in Critical Museology and Material Culture and was co-published with the University of Coimbra, Portugal.

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UBC Museum of Anthropology

The most ambitious book series is that at UBC MOA, produced with Figure 1 Publishing (Vancouver and Berkeley). As of July 2021, we have published eleven titles and have three others in press. Six titles have won national and provincial prizes either for research or design.

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