Monday 26 October 2009, 4.15PM
Speaker(s): Roger Blackley (Victoria University of Wellington)
Major-General Horatio Gordon Robley formed his unrivalled collection of Maori preserved heads in fin-de-siècle London. While the initial aim behind the macabre collection was documentation for his 1896 book Moko; or Maori Tattooing, Robley's collecting passion assumed an almost missionary zeal until by 1905 he was sharing his living quarters with the preserved features of some 35 individuals. The public life of Robley's collection offers opportunities to examine a wide range of attitudes towards his collecting and exhibiting practices, as well as the assessment of a posterity within which he had fantasized an altogether different status.
Roger Blackley teaches nineteenth-century and colonial art at Victoria University of Wellington.