Tuesday: 11am – 5pm
Wednesday: 11am – 5pm
Thursday: 11am – 5pm
Friday: 11am – 5pm
Saturday: 11am – 5pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Please note the House opens at 12pm, with last entry to the House at 4.20pm
Kettle’s Yard will be closed between 23 December 2021 – 3 January 2022 inclusive.
+44 (0)1223 748 100
Join Victoria Avery (Fitzwilliam Museum), Alex Partridge (The Polar Museum), Nicholas Thomas (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology), and Eliza Spindel (Kettle’s Yard) as they discuss some of the exhibition’s themes. Chaired by Sarah Lowndes, writer and curator.
From the ancient to the contemporary – whether in a museum, book or auction house – the way we engage with art has revolved around the cult of the individual. But what happens when we don’t know who made something?
Artist: Unknown takes this question as its focus, bringing together for the first time an extraordinary selection of anonymous art and artefacts from the University of Cambridge’s renowned museums and collections.
Victoria Avery (BA, PhD, Cantab) has been Keeper of Applied Arts at the Fitzwilliam Museum since 2010, prior to which she was Associate Professor in the History of Art Department, University of Warwick (2005-10) and Rush H. Kress Fellow at Villa I Tatti (Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies; 2004-05).
Alex Partridge has been Collections Coordinator at The Polar Museum since 2018. Alex first worked with Arctic collections during his undergraduate research days in Aberdeen. From this, Alex developed an interest in both how museum collections are documented and in the history of collecting in Polar Regions more broadly.
Nicholas Thomas, who has been Director of MAA since 2006, is an anthropologist and historian. He visited the Pacific Islands first in 1984 to research his PhD thesis on the Marquesas Islands, later worked in Fiji and New Zealand, as well as in many archives and museum collections in Europe, north America, and the Pacific itself. His books include Entangled Objects (1991), Oceanic Art (1995), Discoveries: the voyages of Captain Cook (2003), and Islanders: the Pacific in the Age of Empire (2010), which was awarded the Wolfson History Prize.
Dr Sarah Lowndes is a writer, curator and lecturer. Research Fellow at Norwich University of the Arts and Associate Tutor at the University of East Anglia, her publications include Contemporary Artists Working Outside the City: Creative Retreat (2018), The DIY Movement in Art, Music and Publishing (2016), All Art is Political: Writings on Performative Art (2014) and Social Sculpture: The Rise of the Glasgow Art Scene (2010).
Lowndes’ research focuses on interdisciplinary and performance-related practice and contemporary art.
This event will take place in the extension of the House which is accessible, with some limitations. The upper part of the ground floor extension area of the House is accessible for wheelchair users, and if you call in advance or ask at the information desk we can reserve an accessible seat for you.
£5 (free for concessions), booking recommended
Image: Astrolabe, gilt copper, purportedly by Johannes Bos of Rome, dated 1597, but now identified as a modern fake, c.1920, 100mm diameter, Whipple Museum of the History of Science