Brigitta Hauser-Schaublin and Gundolf Kruger
James Cook: gifts and treasures from the South Seas. The Cook / Forster Collection, Gottingen
The "artificial curiosities" that Cook and his colleagues brought back from the Pacific found their way into collections and Museums throughout Europe. This beautiful book illustrates and documents 500 items that ended up in Gottingen, Germany, where for most of the subsequent time, they have resided largely unknown and unstudied.
Cultural art objects from all corners of the Pacific and from points on the American mainland make up the Gottingen Collection and Hauser-Schaublin and Kruger have done a marvellous job with this book to draw our attention to its existence. The items are well illustrated, including over 40 pages of colour plates, while authoritative articles provide background on the history of the Collection, how it came to Gottingen and on the ethnography of the Pacific.
A lovely book to pore over and one that prompts the hope that other Museums with similar collections will produce books that show off their collections.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 1572, volume 22, number 1 (1999).