New Director for Pitt Rivers Museum
Dr Michael O'Hanlon (pictured left), presently Assistant Keeper in the British Museum's Department of Ethnography, has been appointed to the Directorship of the Pitt Rivers Museum. Dr O'Hanlon will be a Fellow of Linacre College when he takes up his appointment in mid-April. He replaces Dr Schuyler Jones, who retired last year.
A graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he read History, Dr O'Hanlon subsequently studied Social Anthropology, taking the postgraduate Diploma at University College, London. He went on to do a doctorate in Anthropology at UCL, undertaking fieldwork in the New Guinea Highlands.
He joined the British Museum in 1983, as curator responsible for the Museum's New Guinean and Australian collections. He has subsequently taken up a series of administrative appointments, including most recently ones related to the redevelopment of the British Museum and its new Study Centre.
Dr O'Hanlon's initial publications analysed the dramatic traditions of body adornment for which New Guinea Highlanders are famous. He showed how these traditions' visual elaboration was complemented by the role they are felt to have in authenticating local knowledge. He also drew out the implications this has for theorising about the anthropology of art.
Subsequent books have focused on the disjunction undergone by artefacts as they are moved from field to museum, and on the anthropology of landscape.
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