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International Development principal lecturer works with Horniman Museum to develop new World Gallery

Dr Roy Smith is taking part in the Oceania working group to help develop the section of the museum focused on the Pacific region

Roy Smith Horniman Gallery Visit
L-R: Chloe Priestland from the Horniman Aquarium Team, Dr Roy Smith

Dr Roy Smith, Principal lecturer in the School of Arts and Humanities and course leader of our new MA International Development, has recently taken on an exciting project with the Horniman Museum in London. He will take part in a working group alongside representatives from the British Museum, National Maritime Museum and other UK universities to develop the Oceania section of the new World Gallery.

The Horniman’s refurbished World Gallery is due to open at the end of June, aiming to highlight the diversity and beauty of the world’s cultures by featuring over 3,000 objects from around the globe. The gallery has been a huge project for the museum, having taken five years of development work thus far. The gallery will be accompanied by a new contemporary arts space named The Studio, which aims to offer alternative exhibitions as well as a programme of events and activities for the community.

Roy is the Vice-Chair for the Pacific Island Society of UK and Ireland, with most of his research and research-informed teaching relating to the Pacific region. He covers this area of research in our new MA International Development, as well as our Joint Honours Humanities BA (Hons) Global Studies course.

Roy is also linked to the Horniman Aquarium’s research project ‘Project Coral’. Due to climate change, 60% of the world’s coral reefs may die within the next 20 years. The project aims to develop techniques to stimulate coral reproduction in order to save these endangered corals. As part of his work with the Horniman Museum and Project Coral, Roy has been able to take a tour of the aquarium and offer his expert advice.

The Pacific region has a particular cultural relevance this year as we mark the 250th Anniversary since Cook’s voyage The Endeavour set sail. Many museums will be covering research, art and artefacts linked to the region. The British Library is currently hosting an exhibition, with the Royal Academy and National Maritime Museum to follow with similar exhibitions in autumn.

The insights gained from Dr Smith’s project with the Horniman Museum will allow students from our Global Studies and International Development courses to gain an understanding into the real-world applications of their learning in the museum and heritage sector as well as in conservation.

Published on 1 May 2018
  • Category: Culture; School of Arts and Humanities