Dr. Alison Clark

Alison Clark is a Research Associate at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Both her masters (2007) and PhD (2013) theses were on the Indigenous Australian collections at the British Museum. Her current research is focused on Kiribati, where she is interested in the contemporary resonance of historic museum collections, and the revival of certain cultural practices. She has previously worked on projects at the British Museum, and the October Gallery in London.

Key publications:

2017, with Nicholas Thomas, ‘Style and Meaning: Essays on the anthropology of art’ (Leiden: Sidestone Press).

2014, ‘What Happens Next? Sustaining Relationships Beyond the Life of a Research Project’, Journal of Museum Ethnography, No.27.

2013, ‘Eliciting a History, Reflections on a Photograph Album’, in Adams, Burt, Bonshek, Bolton and Thomas (eds.) Melanesia Art and Encounter 2013 pp.64-66


Books by Alison Clark

Resonant Histories

Pacific artefacts and the voyages of HMS Royalist 1890-1893

Alison Clark with contributions by Eve Haddow & Christopher Wright | 2019

This book explores a complex relational assemblage, a collection of 1481 Pacific artefacts brought together by Captain Edward Henry Meggs Davis, during the three voyages of HMS Royalist between 1890-1893. The collection is indicative not…




Pacific Presences - Volume 1

Oceanic Art and European Museums

Edited by Lucie Carreau, Alison Clark, Alana Jelinek, Erna Lilje & Nicholas Thomas | 2018

Hundreds of thousands of works of art and artefacts from many parts of the Pacific are dispersed across European museums. They range from seemingly quotidian things such as fish-hooks and baskets to great sculptures of…




Pacific Presences - Volume 2

Oceanic Art and European Museums

Edited by Lucie Carreau, Alison Clark, Alana Jelinek, Erna Lilje & Nicholas Thomas | 2018

Hundreds of thousands of works of art and artefacts from many parts of the Pacific are dispersed across European museums. They range from seemingly quotidian things such as fish-hooks and baskets to great sculptures of…




Fighting Fibres

Kiribati Armour and Museum Collections

Edited by Julie Adams, Polly Bence and Alison Clark | 2018

This book brings together artists, curators, researchers and conservators to consider the significance of coconut fibre armour from the islands of Kiribati. Taking as its focus the armour found in museum collections, it investigates the…




Style and Meaning

Essays on the anthropology of art

Anthony Forge (edited by Alison Clark and Nicholas Thomas) | 2017

Anthropology’s engagement with art has a complex and uneven history. While material culture, ‘decorative art’, and art styles were of major significance for founding figures such as Alfred Haddon and Franz Boas, art became marginal…










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