Critical Perspectives at the Museum

Monday 31 July, 12.30 

Yellow and red Hawaiian quilt

ʻŌhiʻa Lehua, quilted by Susie Sugi, designed by John Serrao

With Dr Marenka Thompson-Odlum, Research Curator (Critical Perspectives)

Marenka is lead researcher on the Labelling Matters project, investigating the problematic use of language within the museum displays and thinking through ways of decolonisation through re-imagining the definition of a label. She is also commissioning new objects for the museum's collections, building new relationships with indigenous communities and enhancing the displays. This talk will be a unique opportunity to hear specifically about Marenka's commissioning of Hawaiian quilts as part of this process and her work with the Poakalani Quilting group.

Quilting emerged as a growing part of the Hawaiian culture in the early nineteenth century. It was originally introduced by Christian missionaries but Hawaiians reworked it into a unique art form that reflects their own indigenous designs and knowledges, characterised by symmetry and echoing patterns. Join Marenka to learn more about this art form and how it challenges past narratives.

This talk is part of our Research Spotlight series.

On the last Monday of the month join Pitt Rivers Museum researchers in the galleries for interactive talks bringing cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary research to life. In 2023, connect with objects and images from the collections and get to know the work of visual and evolutionary anthropologists, curatorial activists, health-care researchers and many other specialists who are accessing the museum to take their research in new directions and to connect with new people.  

Where: Meet underneath the Star House Crest Pole (Haida Totem Pole) in the Museum’s Court for talks to start at 12.30.  

Who: All are welcome to attend, from families to museum aficionados!  

Accessibility: Talks will be wheelchair accessible, may involve material that can be handled and we can provide follow-up info over email for visitors.      


Is there a particular aspect of the Pitt Rivers’ works that you want to hear more about?  Tweet us to let us know @Pitt_Rivers #PRMResearchSpotlight