Barkcloth: Revealing Pacific Craft
29 August – 8 December 2019
This exhibition highlights The Hunterian’s world-class collection of Pacific barkcloth (tapa) and showcases the findings of the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project Situating Pacific Barkcloth in Time and Place.
Combining methods of technical art history, conservation science, anthropology and art history, the exhibition reveals unknown provenances in The Hunterian collections and new scientific findings about the production, trading and use of tapa. Featuring exceptional samples of barkcloth newly restored to their original magnificence, the exhibition demonstrates how focused collections research can enhance our knowledge of collections and of the field.
In addition to the most outstanding examples of barkcloth on display for the first time, the exhibition includes objects collected on the exploratory voyages of Captain Cook and by Presbyterian missionary Reverend George Turner, including original tools, dyes, fibres and plant species used to make the cloth.