The Brutish Museums: Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence, Cultural Restitution

Date 
February 12, 2021
Time 
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST

The Brutish Museums: Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence, Cultural Restitution

The Brutish Museums: Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence, Cultural Restitution

Fri, February 12, 2021 / 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST

Author, curator, and professor Dan Hicks will present on his recent publication, The Brutish Museums.

About this Event

Please register for this event on Zoom: https://tinyurl.com/hearstxbrutish

Author, curator, and professor Dan Hicks will present on his recent publication, The Brutish Museums. Named one of the best art books of 2020, the New York Times concludes, "If you care about museums and the world, read this book.” Hicks' presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with representatives from California museums and academic institutions.

More about The Brutish Museums from Pluto Press:

Walk into any European museum today and you will see the curated spoils of Empire. They sit behind plate glass: dignified, tastefully lit. Accompanying pieces of card offer a name, date and place of origin. They do not mention that the objects are all stolen.

Few artefacts embody this history of rapacious and extractive colonialism better than the Benin Bronzes - a collection of thousands of brass plaques and carved ivory tusks depicting the history of the Royal Court of the Obas of Benin City, Nigeria. Pillaged during a British naval attack in 1897, the loot was passed on to Queen Victoria, the British Museum and countless private collections.

The story of the Benin Bronzes sits at the heart of a heated debate about cultural restitution, repatriation and the decolonisation of museums. In The Brutish Museums, Dan Hicks makes a powerful case for the urgent return of such objects, as part of a wider project of addressing the outstanding debt of colonialism.

Presented in collaboration with:

Ethnic Arts Council of Los Angeles

Fowler Museum

de Young Museum

Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology

UCSC Archaeological Research Center

Presented with support from:

Berkeley Arts & Ideas

History of Art Department, UC Berkeley

Pluto Press

Accessibility:

If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) to fully participate in this event, please contact Katie Fleming at pahma-programs@berkeley.edu with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event.