Collecting and Display SeminarMonday 2 December 2019 at 6pmPollard Room, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House
In its day the India Museum formed the most important collection of oriental material in London. Far from being a celebration of Empire, the collections were conceived with utilitarian and scientific aims, with a view to consolidating the Company’s mercantile supremacy, though in time the character of the collections came also to reflect the political and military gains by the Company’s armies in India. From its original home at the East India Company’s headquarters in Leadenhall Street, the museum collection moved to Whitehall and ultimately to South Kensington, before finally being dispersed in 1879. These developments, and current attempts to recover something of the changing experience offered by the museum, will be reviewed.
Arthur MacGregor is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Professor in the V&A’s Research Department. Following the publication last year of his book Company Curiosities, he is working on an analysis and reconstruction of the contents of the East India Company’s museum. Formerly a curator at the Ashmolean Museum, he continues to edit the Journal of the History of Collections.
All are welcome!
Susan Bracken Andrea M. Gáldy Adriana Turpin