Panel: “Museums of Asian Arts outside Asia” | United Kingdom


In the context of the international conference “Art, Materiality and Representation” (London, 1-3 June 2018), a panel entitled “Museums of Asian Arts outside Asia: Questioning Artefacts, Cultures and Identities” will be held at the Anthropology Library of the British Museum, London, on 2 June.

The panel aims at defining museums of Asian arts outside Asia as cultural expressions of representations of the Other. Mapping the collections and tracing their histories and development, it will be possible to unravel the identity of these institutions and the notions of ‘Asia’ emerging from them.

The panel is convened by Iside Carbone (Royal Anthropological Institute) and will involve presentations from researchers and museum professionals from several countries. Among them are some professionals linked to ASEMUS member museums, including the British Museum, the Museum of Oriental Art in Turin and the Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw, as well as case studies that examine other member museums, such as the Guimet Museum in Paris.

According to the presentation of the panel, museums of Asian arts located outside Asia have so far attracted little scholarly attention as a specific group within the category of specialist museums. Hovering at the intersection between art museums, archaeological museums, ethnographic museums and museums of world cultures, their identity and that of their collections has not been clarified in museological and anthropological terms. Hence, this panel aims at engaging participants in a discussion on issues that can finally cast light on what these institutions are precisely.

The international conference “Art, Materiality and Representation” is organised by the UK’s Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (RAI), the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas of the British Museum and the Department of Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies. This is the fourth of a series of biennial conferences organised by RAI and the British Museum since 2012.

For further details about the panel “Museums of Asian Arts outside Asia” and the broader conference, please visit


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