HEAD START FOR WORLD HISTORY
BELINDA Crerar studied a PhD in Romano-British archaeology with the sole purpose of becoming the curator of the Romanic British collection at the British Museum.
Her ambition was temporarily realised four years ago when the permanent curator took a yearlong sabbatical, but this only showed she had been focusing on the wrong path.
“I really did enjoy it but discovered I wanted to do more exhibitions and focus on the public engagement side of museum work rather than the academic side,” she said.
Her current role as curator in the international exhibitions department brought her to Perth for the opening of British Museum exhibition A History of the World in 100 Objects at WA Museum, a continuation of a five-year partnership between the museums.
“The whole A History of the World in 100 Objects project started in 2007 when the BBC and British Museum started working on a collaborative broadcast,” Dr Crerar said.
“That was really successful so what we did in the British Museum in London was a kind of trail where all of the objects were left in their respective galleries but we created a map for visitors to find the ones featured in the show.
“After that we thought it would be great to bring them all together and tour it internationally.
“We’ve arranged it in chronological order because the real point is to try and bring awareness to how we got to where we are today.”
The exhibition includes The Queen’s lyre, Statue of Ramesses II and Head of Augustus.
The bronze statuary head of first Roman emperor Caesar Augustus was discovered perfectly preserved in 1910 underneath the steps of the Temple of Victory in the ancient Kush capital of Meroe, in modern day Sudan.
Dr Crerar said her favourite item in the exhibition was a simple Victorian tea set, quite familiar and representative of a refined, afternoon tea.
“But when you think about the global stories feeding into the creation of that tea set... we’re talking about British hostilities with China through to colonisation in India and the transatlantic slave trade on plantations,” Dr Crerar said.”
Dr Moya Smith, head of anthropology and archaeology at the WA Museum, with Dr Belinda Crerar and the head of Augustus.