Philip Grover

CV

Philip Grover is a writer, photographer and curator. He has held research fellowships at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and is now based at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. He is an authority on the photographs of Wilfred Thesiger and co-curated the last two major exhibitions of his work, Wilfred Thesiger’s Iraq, 1949–1958: Photographs of Travel (Fox Talbot Museum) and Wilfred Thesiger in Africa: A Centenary Exhibition (Pitt Rivers Museum). He has published on a wide range of subjects, is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and has recently curated exhibitions of photographs by Carolyn Drake, Akio Kushida and Magnum’s Peter Marlow. He is the author of Oxford Daigaku shozo: Bakumatsu Meiji no Nihon (Yamakawa Shuppansha) and co-author of Embroidered Visions: Photographs by Sheila Paine (Pitt Rivers Museum); and co-editor of Wilfred Thesiger in Africa (HarperPress).

Expertise

Philip Grover is one of the UK’s leading curators of photography, having curated or co-curated more than twenty exhibitions and contributed to many more. Recent projects at the Pitt Rivers Museum include international collaborations (Surviving Tsunami and Tito in Africa), surveys of unique collections (Travels in Finland and Bosnia-Herzegovina and The Last Samurai), and a major retrospective with accompanying book (Wilfred Thesiger in Africa). Elsewhere he has contributed to a wide variety of exhibitions – principally covering photography and fine art – including, for example, Terre Humaine en photographies (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris), She-Documentalists: Polish Women Photographers of the 20th Century (Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw), Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven), Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master (British Museum, London), and A New Flowering: 1000 Years of Botanical Art (Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford). He also lends his expertise to the Pitt Rivers Museum’s Displays, Exhibitions and Related Programming Committee responsible for the planning and delivery of a regular public programme of exhibitions and displays.

With over two decades’ experience in the fields of visual and digital culture, Philip Grover represents the Pitt Rivers Museum on the University of Oxford’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) Digital Strategy Implementation Programme Board responsible for oversight and delivery of the divisional GLAM Digital Strategy. He has represented the Pitt Rivers Museum on the GLAM Digital Collections Steering Group, and now sits on the renamed CMS-DAMS Project Board, which has responsibility for procuring and implementing a new collections management system (CMS) and a new digital asset management system (DAMS), with online collections and picture library projects planned to follow. Taken as a whole, these projects are transformational, representing a major investment and ensuring that the University of Oxford’s collections remain at the forefront of the cultural sector.

Philip Grover is the first point of contact for the Pitt Rivers Museum’s photograph and manuscript collections, overseeing a busy programme of work in the department. He manages research visits to the collections and makes accessible to scholars and students alike historic material designated as being of ‘outstanding national and international importance’. He contributes regularly to research projects and participates in a variety of digital initiatives, such as the University of Oxford’s innovative Cabinet teaching platform. He also manages interns and volunteers and runs the popular departmental blog.

Publications and recent projects

Books

Philip Grover, Renzu ga toraeta: Oxford Daigaku shozo: Bakumatsu Meiji no Nihon [Captured by the Lens (series title): Owned by Oxford University: Japan in the Bakumatsu and Meiji Eras] (Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha, 2017). ISBN 978-4-634-15106-2

Katherine Clough and Philip N. Grover, Embroidered Visions: Photographs by Sheila Paine (Oxford: Pitt Rivers Museum, 2017). ISBN 978-0-902793-50-7

Christopher Morton and Philip N. Grover (eds.), Wilfred Thesiger in Africa (London: HarperPress, 2010). ISBN 978-0-00-732524-5

 

Selected articles

Philip Grover, ‘New Cabinet Online Module: Travels in Finland and Bosnia-Herzegovina’, (published online 7 August 2018).

Philip Grover, ‘Hideta Kitazawa Visits Oxford’, Japanese Studies at Oxford: Oxford University Japanese Studies Newsletter, 9 (2017), p.5.

Philip Grover, ‘Jacques-Philippe Potteau ga totta nihon-jin’ [Japanese as Photographed by Jacques-Philippe Potteau], in Keishi Mitsui (ed.), Gaikokujin cameraman no mita Bakumatsu Nihon [Bakumatsu Japan through the Lens of a Foreign Photographer], 2 vols. (Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha, 2014), vol. 1, Gaikokujin kameraman 23 nin no shashin wo ikkyokeisai [Photographs by 23 Foreign Photographers], pp.92–109.

Philip Grover, ‘Conserving Photographs after the Great East Japan Earthquake’, (published online 12 December 2013).

Philip Grover, ‘Some “Russian Types” by William Carrick’, (published online 4 July 2013).

Philip N. Grover, ‘Sir Wilfred Thesiger: African Travels’, Royal Photographic Society Journal, 150 (2010), pp.356–359.

Philip N. Grover, ‘Bibliography of Works by Sir Wilfred Thesiger (1910–2003)’, in Christopher Morton and Philip N. Grover (eds.), Wilfred Thesiger in Africa (London: HarperPress, 2010), pp.269–272.

Philip N. Grover, ‘Carolyn Drake: The Quiet American’, Royal Photographic Society Journal, 149 (2009), pp.406–409.

Philip N. Grover, ‘Harcourt, Leveson Francis Vernon- (1839–1907)’, in H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison (eds.), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: From the Earliest Times to the Year 2000, 60 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), vol. 25, pp.124–125. 

Philip N. Grover, ‘Lyle, David (fl. 1755–1762)’, in H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison (eds.), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: From the Earliest Times to the Year 2000, 60 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), vol. 34, pp.864–865.

Philip N. Grover, ‘Henry Martin and the Macdonald Collection’, in Clare Harris and Tsering Shakya (eds.), Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital, 1936–1947 (Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2003), pp.156–157.

 

Selected recent projects

Exhibition curator, Memoirs in My Suitcase. 2019–20.

Research and content author, Star House Pole: Early Images of the Haida Totem Pole in the Pitt Rivers Museum. 2019.

Guidebook editor, Pitt Rivers Museum: A Short Guide. 2019.

Research and booklet contributor, Star House Pole. 2018.

Exhibition curator, Surveying the Nagas: Visual Representations of India’s Northern Hill-Tribes in the R. G. Woodthorpe Collection. 2018–19.

Research and content author, Travels in Finland and Bosnia-Herzegovina: An Ethnographic Collection of Sir Arthur Evans. 2018.

Exhibition curator, Tito in Africa: Picturing Solidarity. 2017–18.

Exhibition curator, Camel: A Journey through Fragile Landscapes – Photographs by Roger Chapman. 2017.

Conference speaker and site visit host (University of Oxford), Photo Archives VI: The Place of Photography. 2017.

Principal speaker and site visit host, Royal Photographic Society. 2017.

Event organiser and principal speaker, ‘Special Event: Sheila Paine’ (book launch). 2017.

Exhibition curator, Embroidered Visions: Photographs of Central Asia and the Middle East by Sheila Paine. 2016–17.

Workshop organiser and speaker, PRINT PROJECT COLLECT. 2016 (multiple events).

Exhibition curator, Kabuki – On Stage, Behind the Scenes: Photographs by Akio Kushida and Stephanie Berger. 2016.

Content developer, ‘Dressed as a New Zealander’: A Photograph of Ella Monier-Williams by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll). 2016.

Research seminar invitee and principal speaker (University of Oxford, Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies), ‘Meiji-Era Photographs in the Pitt Rivers Museum: An Overview of the Collections'. 2015.

Exhibition curator, Burton Bros. of Dunedin: Photographs of New Zealand and Fiji by a Late Nineteenth-Century Commercial Studio. 2015–16.

Exhibition curator, Star House Pole: Early Images of the Haida Totem Pole in the Pitt Rivers Museum. 2014.

Exhibition curator, Surviving Tsunami: Photographs in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. 2013–14.

Exhibition curator, Travels in Finland and Bosnia-Herzegovina: An Ethnographic Collection of Sir Arthur Evans. 2013.

Research seminar invitee and principal speaker (University of Oxford, Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies), ‘Samurai Abroad: Photographs of the Takenouchi Mission to Europe (1862)'. 2013.

Research and content developer, Bibliography of Works by Sir Wilfred Thesiger (1910–2003). 2013.

Overseas guest lecturer (Rikkyo University), ‘Curating Photographs in the Pitt Rivers Museum'. 2012.

Exhibition curator, Reading the Ruins: Alfred Maudslay and the Maya Site of Quirigua, Guatemala. 2012.

Conference invitee and speaker (De Montfort University, Photographic History Research Centre), Curating Photographs in the Museum. 2011.

Exhibition curator, The Last Samurai: Jacques-Philippe Potteau’s Photographs of the Japanese Missions to Europe, 1862 and 1864. 2011.

Exhibition curator, Among the Pueblos: John K. Hillers (1843–1925), Photographer of the American Southwest. 2010–11.

Exhibition curator, Wilfred Thesiger in Africa: A Centenary Exhibition. 2010–11.

Exhibition curator, The Burial of Emperor Haile Selassie: Photographs by Peter Marlow. 2010.

Exhibition curator, Carolyn Drake: Photographs of Central Asia. 2009–10.

Exhibition curator, Across the Caucasus: Photographs and Manuscripts from the John F. Baddeley Collection. 2009.

Exhibition curator, Studio Cameroon: The Everyday Photography of Jacques Touselle. 2007–8.

Exhibition loan courier and catalogue contributor, A New Flowering: 1000 Years of Botanical Art. 2005.

Exhibition curator and loan courier, Wilfred Thesiger’s Iraq, 1949–1958: Photographs of Travel. 2004–5 & 2005–6 (different venues).

Research and content author, Congo Journey: Photographs and Documents from Robert Hottot’s Expedition to Central Africa, 1908–9. 2004.