Nicholas Thomas is an anthropologist and historian. He visited the Pacific Islands first in 1984 to research his PhD thesis on the Marquesas Islands, later worked in Fiji and New Zealand, as well as in many archives and museum collections in Europe, North America, and the Pacific itself. His books include Entangled Objects (1991), Oceanic Art (1995), Discoveries: The Voyages of Captain Cook (2003), and Islanders: The Pacific in the Age of Empire (2010), which was awarded the Wolfson History Prize. He has collaborated with artists including painter John Pule and photographer Mark Adams on projects exploring cross-cultural art histories in the Pacific and curated exhibitions for many museums and art galleries in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom . He is currently a member of the Conseil d’orientation scientifique of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris and the International Advisory Board of the Humboldt-Forum in Berlin.
Books in order of publication:
Marquesan Societies (1990).
Entangled Objects (1991).
Possessions: Indigenous Art/Colonial Culture (1999).
Oceanic Art (1995).
In Oceania (1997).
Discoveries: The Voyages of Captain Cook (2003).
Cook: The Extraordinary Sea Voyages of Captain James Cook (2003).
Hiapo: Past and Present in Niuean Barkcloth (2005).
Snail Down Wiltshire: The Bronze Age Barrow Cemetery (2005).
Governance and Regionalism in Asia (2009).
Islanders: The Pacific in the Age of Empire (2010).
Tatau: Samoan Tattoo, New Zealand Art, Global Culture (2010).
Body Art (2014).
The Return of Curiosity: What Museums Are Good (2016).