The wars waged for political control of eastern North America during the second half of the eighteenth century brought thousands of British soldiers to the continent. The fashion for collecting curiosities led many officers and colonial officials to acquire examples of indigenous art, and those engaged in diplomatic negotiations might also be presented with fine clothing in the context of ritual adoptions. This essay reviews the major collections that have come down to us from the period in order to demonstrate the two different collecting paradigms and the contrasting experiences of indigenous life that lie behind them.

Winterthur Portfolio
School for Studies in Art and Culture

Phillips, R. (2011). Reading and writing between the lines: Soldiers, curiosities, and indigenous art histories. Winterthur Portfolio (Vol. 45, pp. 107–123).