Students of Anthropology: Hazel Stuart and the Indigenous Peoples of Papua New Guinea

2018, Archaeology Centre, University of Toronto, Exhibition, History
2018, anthropology, artifacts, Department of Anthropology, ephemera, history, Indigenous, Papua New Guinea, University of Toronto
About This Project

Exhibition Team: Madison Stirling, Emily Welsh


Venue: Department of Anthropology (Third Floor), University of Toronto


Exhibition Dates: April 9th, 2018


Curatorial Statement:

The Hazel Stuart Collection is comprised of seventy-five objects, twenty-nine of which were included in this display. This collection offers a small, but unique, snapshot of an important transitional period in Papua New Guinea’s history. Hazel Stuart collected these objects on the eve of Papua New Guinea’s independence from Australia in 1975. The objects on display here are organized into themes that were selected based on the objects in the collection. These themes reflect a simplistic understanding of the study of anthropology and only a cursory view of the many diverse Indigenous cultures in Papua New Guinea.


Intended Audience:

This permanent display is intended for students and staff of the Department of Anthropology but is designed for any guests who may be passing such as visitors on school trips or guests to programming in the third floor seminar rooms. Venue: The display is located on the third floor of the Department of Anthropology at 19 Russell St. on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto. This location was chosen by our exhibition partner, the Department of Anthropology, as to create more thematic, educational and lively throughways in their building.



Members of the Department of Anthropology, including Curator Kathy David, Chair Edward Banning, and Professor Holly Wardlow, contributed to the development and implementation of the display. The Faculty of Information contributed to the project’s budget and provided key consultation. The objects exhibited were collected by the donor, Hazel Stuart and her friend, Donna Crowder.


Basic Timeline:

Beginning in October 2017, three months of the project timeline were devoted to content research and scope determination. Writing of the didactics and the collection process (including completing condition reports and case layouts) both began in January 2018 with approval, revisions, graphic design and mount-making taking place from February to April. Installation began at the beginning of April and was completed within one week. The permanent display was opened on April 9th, 2018. Types of



The display includes twenty-nine accessioned artifacts from the Hazel Stuart Collection and thirteen pieces from her ephemeral collection of postcards, coins, and travel brochures. We felt it was important to include not only the Indigenous artifacts but also the 1970s travel materials as they provided a fuller snapshot of the social, economical and spiritual climates of the country. Additionally, we had several large artifacts, which would not fit in the cases, professionally photographed. We include four photographs with captions in the display in order to provide the best representation of the diverse contents of the Hazel Stuart Collection. Contextual and interpretive material is presented in six thematic panels, one for each display case, and accompanied by tombstone information for the objects displayed. A wall-mounted introductory panel introduces the visitor to Hazel Stuart, the collection, and Papua New Guinea.



The display was marketed in the 2018 Master of Museum Studies Exhibition Class’s promotional poster. We also promoted the display to the Department of Anthropology and their student association with a press release and placed a poster in the lobby of the building to direct visitors to the third floor.



We would like to thank everyone at the Department of Anthropology who supported this project, including Kathy David, Edward Banning, and Holly Wardlow. Thank you to our colleagues from the Faculty of Information for their support in our realization of this display and to Rebecca Lacroix for her skilled photography.