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June 2011 News from the Museum

There was a very successful joint OUMNH and PRM half term family event in February with record numbers of visitors to the Museum, followed in May by the hugely popular “In a Different Light”.


2 Museum News Between Friends

3 Costume of a King (cont) The Man behind the Mask

4 A Tibetan Girl in Beijing New Museum Exhibitions

5 Remembering Deborah Kirkwood 6 Guest Museum: University of Stellenbosch 7 Mine Dancing in South Africa Just a Nibble: Danby Bloch on Bargaining

8 Pitt Rivers and the Black Sea Re-thinking Pitt-Rivers

9 Petrie and Pitt-Rivers Future Talks and Events

10 More Than....... ‘Just Good Friends’ With a Little Help from the Friends

11 The Egyptian Boat Family Fun

12 Museum and Friends’ Diary dates Between Friends

to future issues where his past life will have much to offer us.

Our New

Editor W

e welcome Peter Finn as our new editor. Peter and his wife, Jackie

joined the Friends last year after hearing several of our talks. He has a strong interest in anthropology, linguistics and archaeology and particularly in how they interrelate and inform each other. He is especially interested in sociolinguistics, how and why languages change, and in language endangerment, African linguistics, pidgins and creoles, and the use of writing systems. He has some ongoing research into some lesser known varieties of English. His PhD investigated the development of Cape Flats English, a new mother-tongue dialect spoken in Cape Town by members of the ‘Coloured’ community who have shifted from Afrikaans to English.

Peter was born in the 60s in Harare, Zimbabwe (then Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia). His parents were teachers – father born in South Africa, mother in UK. He grew up in rebel Rhodesia (Zimbabwe from 1980) against a background of civil war. We look forward

The Friends would like to express their sincere thanks to Barbara Topley for four exciting and inspiring years as the Newsletter Editor. Far from retiring and taking things easy, Barbara will continue as a Schools Guide and we look forward to seeing more of her unique contributions on these pages.

We are also delighted to report that two volunteers have come forward to fill the vacant roles of Secretary and Publicity.

Friends’ Away Days

The recently formed activities team has been doing some forward planning for Friends’ events. Here are some Away Day dates for your diaries:

Wednesday 24 August: A visit to the Horniman Museum. We will be travelling by coach and there will be gallery talks on both the permanent ethnographic collections and also the exhibition: Bali – Dancing for the gods. [Wednesday 8 August: cut off for registration] On Saturday 29 October we have arranged a walk of Jewish Spitalfields guided by Clive Bettington.

Please see fliers enclosed for more detailed information. For enquiries about the Horniman visit, contact Felicity Wood: or telephone 01865 554281 and about the Jewish walk,

contact Rosemary Lee: telephone 01491 873276 or

Looking forward to 2012 – we have plans to visit the British Museum in the spring, and the Larmer Grounds and the Salisbury Museum in the summer.

Welcome to New Friends

We welcome Valerie Mills, Juliette Gammon and Sarah Wood into our fold and hope they will enjoy our activities.

Friends who do not pay by standing order are respectfully reminded that subscriptions were due on 1 May. There is an additional category for Joint Concessions at £22 and we do hope that everyone feels this is excellent value for money and will continue to support our wonderful Museum.

BAfM Regional Conference

The British Association of Friends of Museums, to which we belong – and who very kindly give us awards for our Newsletter! – will be holding the South East (Western Counties) Regional Conference at the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock on 6 September 2011. The theme is Friends, Advocacy and Lobbying in Difficult Times. Apart from being a very appropriate topic, it also gives us an opprtunity to share ideas with Friends from other Museums. Details available from Sue Hall:

The Museum has introduced volunteer-led guided tours on Wednesday afternoons. Our thanks to the Friends who have volunteered to lead some of these tours. The Museum still maintains its monthly Spotlight talks (3rd

Saturday of every month), Pitt Stops (1st Saturday of every month)

Family Friendly (every Sunday afternoon) and Audio Visual Presentation (every Sunday morning). We would also like to thank Friends and volunteers who help us with these events. Overall visitor numbers continue to increase month on month and we expect the summer to show record numbers.

Museum Funding

The Museum’s funding level has now been confirmed for the 2011/12 financial year but the future is still uncertain and we await further information. In the meantime we continue to look for other funding opportunities and are again applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund this time for a 5 year project starting late 2012.

Staff News

We have been recruiting for part-time Gallery staff and welcome Jessica Law. We are also advertising for a part-time Conservator for one year and a Museum’s Partnership Assistant until February 2012

Cathy Wright, Adminstrator

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