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Title Living spirits with fixed abodes : the masterpieces exhibition : Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery / Barry Craig, Mark Busse, Soroi Eoe ; editor, Barry Craig ; photography, David Becker, Anthony L. Crawford
Published Honolulu : University of Hawai'i Press ; Belair, SA : Crawford House, ©2010


Description 1 online resource (xxii, 286 pages) : illustrations (some color), portrait, color maps
Series UPCC book collections on Project MUSE
Contents Foreword / Michael Somare -- Preface / Thierry Bernadac and Jacques-Olivier Manet -- Introduction / Barry Craig -- Short history of the Papua New Guinea National Museum / Mark Busse -- Work of the National Museum / Mark Busse -- Role of the National Museum in contemporary Papua New Guinea society / Soroi Marepoe Eoe -- Masterpieces exhibition / Barry Craig -- App. 1. Functions of the National Museum and Art Gallery -- App. 2. Ethnographic collections of the National Museum / Barry Craig
Summary On the eve of Papua New Guinea's attainment of independence from Australia, the Chief Minister, Michael Somare, referred to the new nation's cultural treasures as 'living spirits with fixed abodes'. He was referring to the prevailing belief of Papua New Guineans that everything is invested with spirit, not least the objects carved, modelled or constructed for ceremonial, and often everyday, use
In 1977, the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery moved into a new building located next to, but constructed before, the National Parliament. The new nation adopted a constitution, the preamble to which asserts: We, the people of Papua New Guinea ... pay homage to the memory of our ancestors ... [and] acknowledge the worthy customs and traditional wisdoms of our people ..
Thus the cultural heritage of the nation was given a very high priority. Exhibitions at the new museum building; were developed to show the prehistory of the people, some of the more striking natural heritage, and a selection of the most significant cultural treasures were given pride of place in the central-exhibition hall
The Masterpieces Exhibition remains in place today and this book gives the reader a thorough account of each of the 209 objects on display. The Introduction by Barry Craig a former Curator of the National Museum, aims to give the non-Papua New Guinean reader a general idea of the significance of these objects and how they are to be understood. Two chapters by Mark Busse, also a former Curator, provide a brief history of the museum and outline its functions. A chapter on the role of the museum in forging national identity is provided by Soroi Marepo Eoe, former Curator and Director of the National Museum to the present time
Craig has written the chapter on the Masterpieces, setting these important works in their local context with historical and field photographs. An Appendix provides a window into the history and representativeness of the National Museum's entire collection of well over 35,000 pieces. Indexes give the reader tools with-which to explore a range of topics such as where the exhibition objects have come from, who collected, gave or sold them to the museum, and who were responsible for the contextual photographs. A series of maps locates every place mentioned in the text. It is evident that such an exhibition, and the book arising from it, is a result of the individual and collective efforts of a large number of people
Thirty years after the birth of the nation, this book reaffirms the central significance of the traditional works created to house the spirits
Barry Craig obtained his BA (Hons Anthrop), DipEd and MA (Hons Anthrop) at the University of Sydney. His interest in material culture and art of New Guinea was inspired by the late Bryan Cranstone of the British Museum. His Master's thesis, 'Houseboards and Warshields of the Mountain Ok' was published in summary form in 1988
During 1980-83 he was Curator of Anthropology at the Papua New Guinea National Museum, and was appointed Curator of Foreign Ethnology at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide in 1995. In 1997 he was awarded a PhD in Visual Arts at Flinders University for his thesis on the collection, documentation and preservation of the material cultural heritage of Papua New Guinea. --Book Jacket
Analysis "Multi-User"
Notes OldControl:muse9780824860493
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 265-275) and indexes
Notes English
Print version record
Subject National Museum and Art Gallery (Papua New Guinea) -- Exhibitions
SUBJECT National Museum and Art Gallery (Papua New Guinea) fast
Subject Art, Papua New Guinean -- Exhibitions
ART -- History -- General.
SOCIAL SCIENCE -- Customs & Traditions.
Art, Papua New Guinean
Genre/Form Exhibition catalogs
Form Electronic book
Author Crawford, A. L. (Anthony Leonard), 1941-
Becker, David, 1943-
Soroi Marepo Eoe
Busse, Mark
Craig, Barry
National Museum and Art Gallery (Papua New Guinea)
LC no. 2011456232
ISBN 9780824860493