Philip Grover


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. 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). He is also an Affiliate of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford.

Publications and recent projects

Selected publications

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, 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).

Katherine Clough and Philip N. Grover, Embroidered Visions: Photographs by Sheila Paine (Oxford: Pitt Rivers Museum, 2017).

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.

Christopher Morton and Philip N. Grover (eds.), Wilfred Thesiger in Africa (London: HarperPress, 2010).

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


Recent projects

Deputy sponsor (Pitt Rivers Museum) and Project Board member, Gardens, Libraries and Museums Collections Online Project (digital systems project). 2021–23.

‘After Hours’ event invitee and guest speaker (Ashmolean Museum/TORCH Japan Season), ‘Japan in Hollywood’. 2021.

Deputy sponsor/Acting sponsor (Pitt Rivers Museum), Project Board member and Digital Asset Management System configuration, Gardens, Libraries and Museums CMS-DAMS Project (digital systems project). 2018–22.

Exhibition curator, Into Motherhood: Photographs by Alegra Ally. 2020.

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

Research and booklet contributor, Star House Pole. 2018.

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

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

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

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

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