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Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology



Since the 1990s the Museum has acquired works of modern and contemporary art, especially works that are from communities represented in our great historic collections, or that are otherwise relevant to the Museum. Since a surprising number of the historic objects that we hold were in fact distinctive, innovative creations, the much-debated distinctions between ‘traditional craft’, ‘material culture’, and ‘art’ have become less useful or meaningful. With the support of the Art Fund among other bodies, the Museum is now building a wide-ranging collection of sculpture, prints, paintings and digital and installation works, that foreground indigenous perspectives from various parts of the world, and include works by British and other artists that respond to both anthropological and archaeological collections, and to western traditions of collecting and museum-making.






'The Island I' [red mound], by Brook Andrew, Screen print in mixed media on linen.

2007. Australia. MAA 2009.73.



The modern and contemporary art collections at MAA are organised under Anthropology. The staff working in the Anthropology section of the museum are:

Dr Anita Herle, Senior Curator

Dr Mark Elliott, Senior Curator

Rachel Hand, Collections Manager and Curatorial Assistant

Guey-Mei Hsu, Collections Assistant

Contact the Anthropology Team

If you have questions about the Anthropology or Contemporary collections at MAA, please contact the Collections Manager, Rachel Hand.

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Two million years of human history. One million artefacts. Countless astonishing stories.