Way Out North West

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West company spent several weeks  in Salford in 1887 and the Manchester Museum has some very special, and unique, material relating to this occurance.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West show poster, 1899 (Not part of the Manchester Museum collection)


In pervious blog posts I’ve detailed this material (https://mancultural.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/the-return-of-red-shirt/) but if you’d like to find out more I’ll be giving a talk this Friday at 1pm in the Museum as part of the Manchester Histories Festival. Please do feel free to drop in but do be aware that space is limited so be punctual!

Stephen Terence Welsh

Curator of Living Cultures

Installation Design and the Exhibition of Oceanic Things: Two New York Museums in the 1940s

On Wednesday 9th November , Kanaris Theatre, the Manchester Museum, from 3pm onwards Professor Robert Foster, University of Rochester, New York,  will be presenting his paper:

Installation Design and the Exhibition of Oceanic Things: Two New York Museums in the 1940s

 Further information regarding Professor Fosters research can be found at:


 The presentation is a result of ongoing collaboration between the Museum and the University of Manchester Pacific Interest Group and Department of Social Anthropology. The Manchester Museum has an international significant Oceanic collection with over 7000 objects including textiles, weapons, tools, masks and carvings.

Bone and shell fish hook, Maori, New Zealand. 1800-1900. The Manchester Museum Living Cultures collection.

Spaces are limited so if you would like to attend do be punctual!

Stephen Terence Welsh

Curator of Living Cultures


Gateway to Asia

The Manchester Museum recently became an official member of Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, an ASEMUS – The Asia Europe Museum Network project. The sheer quality and international significance of the Living Cultures Asia collection secured our inclusion.

The Oriental Gallery, The Manchester Museum, 1980s.

We’re in good company, as other fellow members include such esteemed institutions as:

  •  The British Museum
  • The Museum of World Cultures, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan
  • National Museum of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea 


The aim of the project is to showcase and share information about the very many wonderful Asian collections which reside in European and Asian museums. We currently have 10 records online which you can view by following the link below:



Stephen Terence Welsh

Curator of Living Cultures

From Manchester to Sheffield and Liverpool

On the 26th June 2011 our most recent and celebrated temporary exhibition China: Journey to the East closed to the public. The exhibition has been with us for 9 months and was supposed to be heading home to the British Museum but instead will open in Weston Park, Sheffield later in the year. This new addition to the tour schedule proves just how popular the topic of China is with museum visitors and users alike. The exhibition has allowed the Manchester Museum to affirm its relationship with Manchester’s Chinese community and it will hopefully develop as we explore future opportunities for collaboration.

This Chinese porcelain tea-pot is currently on display in the Manchester Gallery with other fascinating objects from China. It dates to the early 20th century and was donated by Robert Dukinfield Darbishire. Hopefully, we'll be able to exhibit much more of our Chinese collection in the Manchester Gallery in the not too distant future.

In other news we’ve finally completed the transfer of an object from the Living Cultures collection to the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool. The object in question is a punishment collar from a 19th century plantation in the USA. It would have been placed around the necks of enslaved Africans who had attempted to escape. It had been on loan to the International Slavery Museum for several years so it made perfect sense to make the transfer. The process of transferring objects from one museum collection to another is often called rationalisation, and it has been occurring since museums began. The punishment collar is better placed in the International Slavery Museum as  it is an institution dedicated to exploring the very many experiences, histories and legacies of the transatlantic slave trade.

Stephen Terence Welsh

Curator of Living Cultures

Lions Escape…

Throughout the week I have been collating a number of objects from the Living Cultures collection which are due for inclusion in the forthcoming Living Planet gallery. Objects include swords from the British armed forces and a very special red Chinese vase.

Vase, China, 19th century. Living Cultures collection, The Manchester Museum.

The one thing each of these objects has in common is that they depict a lion in some way, shape or form. I’ll let you use your imagination as to why and how they might be displayed in the new gallery…

Military swords, United Kingdom, 19th century. Living Cultures collection, The Manchester Museum.

For more information about the soon to open Living Planet gallery take a look at the Nature Manchester blog at:


Stephen Terence Welsh

Curator of Living Cultures