Inuit Make Glasgow?: Arctic Material Culture in Scotland’s Museums

Inuit clothing on display in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Inuit knives and hooks held in the Hunterian collections.

Some of the catalogue entries mentioned that several of the older objects were reportedly collected during the third voyage of Captain James Cook and were later purchased for the collection by the Museum’s founder William Hunter. From speaking to Andrew Mills, the Hunterian’s Curator of World Cultures, it seems that these claims have been very difficult to verify and only recently have they been proved more conclusively.

As a whole though, it is very difficult to find accurate information about where, when and by whom these objects were collected. Even more importantly though, in most cases, there is absolutely no information about which individuals or Arctic communities created these artefacts in the first place. This means there are many unanswered questions about the circumstances through which these items, which are essential for hunting and survival in the Arctic, were transported to this Scottish city.

Parka held in the Hunterian collections.

New ‘Curating Discomfort’ exhibits at the Hunterian Museum.

Further reading:

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