Art History Radio Hour

Peter Brunt is an Associate Professor in the Art History programme at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Of Samoan descent himself, Brunt’s teaching, research and curatorial interests focus broadly on art and cross-cultural exchange in the Pacific, from the late eighteenth century to the present, with a special interest in the development of indigenous modernisms and Contemporary Pacific art in the ‘post-colonial’ era. His career in Art History began after returning to university to study Art History as a ‘mature student’ in 1989. Previously he’d worked as an actor in theatre, film and television. He completed an MPhil at the University of Auckland in 1991 and his PhD at Cornell University in 1999, where his dissertation focused on the work of William Hodges, artist on Cook’s second voyage. Brunt is co-editor of the multi-authored book, Art in Oceania: A New History (Thames & Hudson 2012 and Yale University Press 2013), winner of 2013 Authors Club prize (UK). He is also co-editor (with Nicholas Thomas and Sean Mallon) of Tatau: Photographs by Mark Adams: Samoan Tattooing, New Zealand Art, Global Culture (Te Papa Press 2010) and curator of the associated exhibition Tatau: Photographs by Mark Adams, which has been shown at galleries and museums in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK. Peter Brunt was also co-curator, with Nicholas Thomas, of a major exhibition of Oceanic art drawn from collections in British, European and New Zealand museums and shown at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The show opened in September 2018 before travelling to the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, in March 2019.