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Melanesia book launch

Melanesia: Art and encounter

Introducing a new book from the British Museum

Professor Marilyn Strathern will lead a panel of scholars to discuss this exciting new contribution to the ethnography of the Pacific, followed by a reception with the editor and contributors.

6pm, Friday 11 October, in the Stevenson Theatre of the British Museum

The book will be on sale at a discount.

No booking is required, but an advance note of attendance would be appreciated. Please email

The artistic traditions of Melanesia are among the most rich and diverse of any region of the world, and this book examines them in an unprecedented depth. As the culmination of a five-year research project into the collections of the British Museum, it draws upon the experience of cultural experts and artists from Melanesia and around the world to interpret an enormous range of artefacts.

The book is edited by Lissant Bolton, Nicholas Thomas, Elizabeth Bonshek, Julie Adams and Ben Burt. A total of 57 chapters cover, with editorial introductions, West Papua, Papua New Guinea (north and south), Soloman Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. In dealing with ‘art and encounter’, the book presents the British Museum’s outstanding Melaneisan collections, illustrated by 300 colour photos, in the context of historical relational relationships between Melanesias and Europeans over the past two hundred years.

British Museum Press

ISBN 978 0 7141 256 1
£75 hardback

Click here to buy.

Category: History


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