'Artist: Unknown': Panel Discussion

19 Sep 2019

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£5 (free for concessions), booking recommended

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Join Victoria Avery (Fitzwilliam Museum), Alex Partridge (The Polar Museum), Nicholas Thomas (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology), and Eliza Spindel (Kettle's Yard) as they discuss some of the exhibition's themes.


Chaired by Sarah Lowndes, writer and curator. 

About Artist: Unknown

From the ancient to the contemporary – whether in a museum, book or auction house – the way we engage with art has revolved around the cult of the individual. But what happens when we don’t know who made something?

Artist: Unknown takes this question as its focus, bringing together for the first time an extraordinary selection of anonymous art and artefacts from the University of Cambridge’s renowned museums and collections.

About the speakers

Victoria Avery (BA, PhD, Cantab) has been Keeper of Applied Arts at the Fitzwilliam Museum since 2010, prior to which she was Associate Professor in the History of Art Department, University of Warwick (2005-10) and Rush H. Kress Fellow at Villa I Tatti (Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies; 2004-05).

Alex Partridge has been Collections Coordinator at The Polar Museum since 2018. Alex first worked with Arctic collections during his undergraduate research days in Aberdeen. From this, Alex developed an interest in both how museum collections are documented and in the history of collecting in Polar Regions more broadly.

Nicholas Thomas, who has been Director of MAA since 2006, is an anthropologist and historian. He visited the Pacific Islands first in 1984 to research his PhD thesis on the Marquesas Islands, later worked in Fiji and New Zealand, as well as in many archives and museum collections in Europe, north America, and the Pacific itself. His books include Entangled Objects (1991), Oceanic Art (1995), Discoveries: the voyages of Captain Cook (2003), and Islanders: the Pacific in the Age of Empire (2010), which was awarded the Wolfson History Prize.

Dr. Sarah Lowndes is a writer and curator and lecturer at Glasgow School of Art, whose research focuses on artist-led projects, interdisciplinary and performance-related practice and contemporary art. Her publications include Social Sculpture: The Rise of the Glasgow Art Scene (2010), All Art is Political: Writings on Performative Art (2014) and The DIY Movement in Art, Music and Publishing: Subjugated Knowledges (forthcoming, Routledge, 2016).


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