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The Story Behind the Maori Collection in D.C.


Oct. 11, 2011
Press Release #11-181

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The Smithsonian’s collection of Maori materials, from the indigenous people of New Zealand, is as old as the institution itself. Jennifer Wagelie will describe it and its history in “Pacific Encounters on the Potomac: The History of the Collection and Display of Maori Art at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Auerbach Auditorium of St. Mary’s Hall.

Feather cloaks, wood carvings, and pendants have been donated to the museum by the Wilkes Expedition in the early 1800s, by world fairs, and even by American servicemen. Wagelie is writing a book on the Maori collection. She was a research fellow at the Smithsonian’s Natural History museum and at the University of British Columbia, and is senior academic officer at the Indiana University Art Museum.

 The lecture is free and open to the public.