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Steven Hooper


  • 01.54 Sainsbury Centre

Personal profile


Professor Hooper specialises in the arts of the Pacific region and North America. His main interests cover the relationship between Polynesian material culture, chiefship, valuables and exchange, ethnohistory, cultural property, ethnographical museums, the art market, publishing, book production and design. He completed his doctorate in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge, having conducted fieldwork in Fiji.

His publications include Art & Artefacts of the Pacific, Africa & the Americas: the James Hooper Collection (1976), The Fiji Journals of Baron Anatole von Hügel, 1875-77 (1990), the three-volume Robert & Lisa Sainsbury Collection (1997, Yale University Press, editor and part author); Memorial Images of Eastern Fiji: materials, metaphors and meanings. In: Herle, A. et al. (eds.), Pacific Art: persistence, change and meaning. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. pp. 309-323 (2002) and Pacific Encounters: art and divinity in Polynesia 1760-1860, British Museum Press (2006). This publication accompanied a major exhibition of the same name which was shown at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in May-August 2006. In 2008 the exhibition was shown at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris.


Key Research Interests

Professor Hooper is currently researching and writing articles and a monograph on Polynesian and Fijian art history and anthropology.

Areas of Expertise

Anthropology; non-Western art; the arts of North America and the Pacific, esp. Fiji and Polynesia; ritual; exchange; ethnohistory; Pacific exploration.