While the acquisition of new collections for the Museum still involves obtaining actual objects, our collecting also involves much more than just this. It includes talking and listening to the people who made and used the objects being acquired to see if we can develop relationships with them that, at least in some cases, can grow into lasting partnerships between the Museum and people out in the Pacific.
It is important to create such partnerships because many times what is missing for our old collections is the Pacific Islander’s own perspective on what we exhibit, study, and care for. Their perspective is essential if the Museum is to be relevant to people today and in the future both here in Chicago and in the Pacific.
Image above: A part of dress called kiekie, an ornamental girdle worn by women in the Kingdom of Tonga around the waist and over a skirt or tupenu (wrapped garment) underneath. This kiekie was purchased for the Museum’s collections by Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp in 2010. Temporary Number T2010.0017. © The Field Museum, Photographer Christopher J. Philipp.
Image above and collection thumbnail: a contemporary handbag from the Kingdom of Tonga. This bag was purchased for the Museum’s collections by Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp in 2010 at the Maketi Talamahu (market) in Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga. Temporary Number T2010.0017. © The Field Museum, Photographer Christopher J. Philipp.