Department of Museum Studies Research Seminar: Buddhism, imperialism and display (Louise Tythacott)

Buddhism, imperialism and display: the lives of Chinese objects in British exhibitions.

Louise Tythacott, of the University of Manchester, will be giving the Museum Studies Research Seminar next Wednesday, 16th January. The seminar will be held at 1pm in the Lecture Room at 105 Princess Road East (PRE). This is an informal ‘brown bag’ (bring a sandwich!) seminar.

Museum Studies is an interdisciplinary field and all are welcome. Refreshments served.

For further details, contact Sandra Dudley.

Louise Tythacott is a Lecturer in Museology at the University of Manchester, specialising in the relationship between anthropology and museums. She trained as an anthropologist and undertook fieldwork in Hong Kong on Chinese deity imagery, temple iconography and religious belief. From 1996-2003, she was Head of Asian, African, American and Oceanic collections at the National Museums Liverpool, with specific responsibility for Asian material culture.

Louise is currently researching the biographies of a group of rare Buddhist deities taken from temples on the Chinese pilgrimage island of Putuo by a British soldier in the early 1840s during the First Opium War. The bronzes were displayed in Great Exhibition of 1851 as well as the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857. After passing through a range of major antiquarian collections, they were acquired by Liverpool Museum in 1867 and, over the course of time, were shifted from evolutionary displays to an Oriental Art Gallery. Louise was responsible for curating and reinterpreting the sculptures at the World Museum Liverpool and they are presently on display in the Buddhism area of the World Cultures gallery. Her paper charts the changing meanings and values ascribed to the five Buddhist sculptures as they pass through multiple spheres of representation.

This promises to be a really interesting session - see you there!


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