Category: Object Diasporas

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Objects as Windows into Colonial Relationships: The Bonney Collection and Pastoral Australia

Nineteenth-century pastoral properties were sites for rich and diverse social interactions where objects played a key role in station life and its cross-cultural and inter-colonial dimensions.

Eleanor Foster

19 March 2024

The Transboundary Origin of a Gilt Bronze Buddha

The origin of a museum object may seem simple and singular, associated with a specific place. But Xintian Ma presents a more complicated and perhaps realistic tale of the dual origins of a gilt Buddha.

Xintian Ma

9 January 2024

Water and Starlight: Finding the Zodiac Beaker

A dark bronze beaker in one of MAA's galleries has remained hidden in plain sight. Recently, however, Mark Elliott revisited this object, revealing new connections and questions in the process.

Mark Elliott

14 November 2023

‘I am writing this waiting for the pageant to begin’

A message on the back of a postcard issued for an exhibition organised by the London Missionary Society leads to an examination of the phenomenon of ‘human zoos’ typical of exhibitions at the time.

Maria Chiara Scuderi

18 July 2023

Double Identities: A Guanyin Statue in a Carriage Clock Case

When an object is misidentified, is it a ‘mistake’ or something more? Using a Guanyin statue as a case study, I suggest that objects can inhabit two identities when embodying two simultaneous social meanings.

Xintian Ma

13 June 2023

Preserving and Revitalising 昆曲 (Kunqu Opera) on the World Stage

Kunqu Opera, one of the oldest forms of Chinese opera, was at one point threatened with extinction. Explore stories of its revival through several collections-based projects at MAA.

Zilan Wang

21 February 2023

Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year? – Celebrating in Harmony

Chinese New Year' or 'Lunar New Year' are two intertwined terms. Although indicative of positive cultural change, their overlapping nature has sparked controversies within museum spaces.

Zilan Wang

14 February 2023

‘Looks more like a dog’ – Rabbits or Not Rabbits at MAA

To mark Chinese New Year this year, and the Year of the Rabbit, we did the obvious thing and looked for rabbits in the collections at MAA. But we didn’t find what we thought we would.

Mark Elliott

31 January 2023

More than Music: Collecting Kun Opera

Explore collections of Chinese musical instruments which began arriving in Cambridge in 1902, and have since been a part of several digital exhibition, and outreach projects.

Mark Elliott

25 January 2023

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