Welcome back , you are logged in

Gallery 20 will be closed until Friday 24th March for an event

A view of the World Cultures galleries

World Cultures Galleries - Asia

World Cultures galleries

A partial re-fit to the World Cultures galleries took place at the end of 2011. This permitted some of the displays to include fresh content and highlight some of the most recent acquisitions.

Fresh content can be found in the displays of the three faiths; Buddhism, Hindusim and Islam & the Arab World. There are also three cases that celebrate the royal arts of West Africa and these feature rarely seen sculpture, ceramics, textiles and metalwork. Recent post-graduate research (AHRC collaboration) into one particular donor, Hatton & Cookson trader Richard E. Dennett, also receives new interpretation.

What’s new in the World Cultures galleries?

Africa – there are three cases in the gallery that celebrate the royal arts of West Africa. Kingship in this part of the world was often expressed through art and architecture. These royal arts often emphasised themes of power through the incorporation of rare and prestigious materials such as metals and ivory, even cloth. Kingship is defined in a variety of ways but includes military authority, legitimacy, social hierarchy and wealth. These four qualities are reflected in some of the items on display in three cases. These displays illustrate the skills still employed in the ceramic, carving, weaving and metalwork traditions.

Americas – fresh content includes Aztec clay stamps, traditional clothing from Mexico and Guatemala, and a wonderful arch lute or banjon carved in the Mende tradition of Sierra Leone. This instrument was acquired from Cartagena, Colombia and donated to the museum in 1870! The display also includes ceramics from the north coast of Peru.

Asia – separate to those displays on faith, there is a case dedicated to the arts of the Asian continent. One long case contains 19th century export-ware ceramics from China and Japan, a contemporary example of Japanese lacquerware made by Suzuki Mutsumi, silver items from a Malay betel nut set, early textiles from Myanmar (formerly Burma) and a protective bone amulet from Sumatra written in Batak script.

Pacific – the Oceania displays remain much the same with historic material from Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Hawaii, Easter Island and Tahiti (Society Islands). They include items that were acquired from the voyages of the SS Mildura, Southern Cross and Curacoa also items directly linked to Captain Cook and Francis Godolphin Bond of the HMS Providence. Bond obtained some rare items on his naval journeys such as a Tahitian mourner’s costume or heiva tupapa’u.

Visit the World Cultures website

Terms & Conditions

These terms and conditions (Terms) apply to the entire contents of this website. Please read these Terms carefully before using this website. Using this website indicates that you accept these Terms. If you do not accept these Terms, please do not use this website.
  1. These Terms shall constitute an agreement between you and us and shall set out the conditions upon which you may access the information available on this website
  2. We reserve the right to change these Terms, at any time and to notify you by posting an updated version of these Terms on this website, at which point they will become immediately effective
  3. Your continued use of this website after any changes referred to in clause 2 shall constitute your consent to such changes
  4. Access to this website may be suspended temporarily and without notice in the case of system failure, maintenance or repair, or for reasons beyond our control
  5. We reserve the right to, without notice, withdraw the availability of this website or any of its content and/or any of its functions, information or services
  6. We cannot guarantee uninterrupted and/or reliable access to this website and we make no guarantees whatsoever as to its operation, functionality or otherwise
  7. You are allowed to view, download and print out content from this website for personal use only in accordance with these Terms. All other copying whether electronic, hard copy or other format is prohibited and all other rights are reserved
  8. You shall only use this website in a manner that is consistent with these Terms and in such a way as to comply with all applicable laws and regulations and in particular, that you shall not (or not attempt to):
    • seek unauthorised access to our network or computer system
    • insert or knowingly or recklessly transmit or distribute a virus into our network and computer systems
  9. All copyright and all other intellectual property rights existing in this website (including, but not limited to, all design, text, graphics and the selection or arrangement thereof) are and remain our property
  10. The expression 'copyright' shall include the entire copyright, design right, rental right, right to authorise or prohibit lending and data right subsisting now or created at any time
  11. While we endeavour to ensure that the information contained on this website is accurate, complete and up-to-date, we make no representations or warranties, whether express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for purpose of such information
  12. We make no representations or warranties, whether express or implied, that this website or any software of any nature available on, downloaded or otherwise obtained from it, will be free from defects or viruses. Your use of this website is at your own risk
  13. We make no representations or warranties as to whether the information available on this website complies with the regulatory regime of countries from which the pages of this website may be accessed
  14. We may log your IP address (which indicates the location of your computer on the Internet) for the purpose of systems administration and troubleshooting.
  15. If you provide your e-mail address in order to submit an enquiry, comment or request for further information, we may contact you regarding your enquiry, comment or request. We may also send e-mails to you about the services that we offer.
  16. From time to time we may provide your information to our marketing or IT departments for research and analysis purposes so that we can monitor and improve the services we provide. We may occasionally contact you by post, email or telephone to ask you for your feedback and comments on our services.
  17. The failure by us to insist on any occasion upon performance of these Terms shall not thereby act as a waiver of such a breach or an acceptance of any variation of these Terms
  18. A person who is not a party to these Terms may not enforce any of its terms or conditions under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
  19. These Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in all respects in accordance with the Laws of England