The following is excerpted from a Cambridge University press release titled “New Director for Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology” and dated June 2, 2006 [see: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/news/dp/2006052502]
“The Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology has announced the appointment of Nicholas Thomas as its new Director from October 2006.
Professor Thomas, currently Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, studied anthropology and history at the Australian National University, and visited Polynesia first in 1984 to research his PhD thesis on the Marquesas Islands. He later worked in Fiji and New Zealand, as well as in many archives and museum collections in Europe, North America, and the Pacific itself, and has written widely on art, voyages, colonial encounters, and contemporary culture in the Pacific Islands.
His books include Entangled Objects (1991), Oceanic Art (1995), Possessions: Indigenous Art/Colonial Culture (1999), and Discoveries: the voyages of Captain Cook (2003). Other recent projects have included a collaboration with the distinguished painter and writer, John Pule, from the Polynesian island of Niue, on the history and aesthetics of Niuean barkcloth.
Nicholas Thomas has also curated several exhibitions, most recently “Skin Deep: a History of Tattooing” for the National Maritime Museum, London, and “Cook’s Sites” for the Museum of Sydney. He was awarded the Max Crawford Medal by the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1995, the Rivers Memorial Medal by the Royal Anthropological Institute in 1998, and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2005. Nicholas Thomas will hold a Professorship of Historical Anthropology.”