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Title: Collecting the Collector : Being an exploration of Harry Geoffrey Beasley's Collection of Pacific Artefacts made in the yeads 1895-1939
Author: Carreau, Lucie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2688 8861
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2009
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Between 1895 and 1939, brewer Harry Beasley (1882-1939) formed one of the largest private collections of ethnographic material in Britain, numbering over 10,000 objects from Africa, Oceania, the Americas, Asia and Scandinavia. This thesis examines the context and processesth at led to the emergencea nd developmento f his collection, and its transformation into a private museum, the Cranmore Ethnographical Museum in Chislehurst, Kent (established 1928). The content of the collection and museum was dispersed after Beasley's death in 1939, enriching public and private collections worldwide. This thesis focuses on the Pacific component of the collection (over 5,570 objects) to characterise ethnographic private collecting at the beginning of the twentieth century and assessit s place within severalm ilieus: academia,m useumsa nd the market for ethnographic material. Extensive archival documentation and the large amount of objects in public collections allow for an in-depth exploration of relationships between people and things through time, space and milieus. Objects and archives permit a stretching of the collection's visible boundaries to accommodate a wider range of narratives and reveal a collection that is simultaneously coherent and multiple. This thesis contributes to a richer understanding of the intellectual and physical processes that underpin the activity of collection-making. In particular, it questions the role and place of `marginal' individuals such as Beasley in the formation of disciplines and institutions as well as their contribution to museum collections through objects and knowledge. It provides a sketch of private collecting at the beginning of the twentieth century that reflects the ambivalence and connectivity of the activity and relocates private collectors, from the margins to within the realm of academia and museums
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available