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Dr John Giblin

Dr John Giblin
Keeper, Department of Global Arts, Cultures and Design
Responsible for: The Department of Global Arts, Cultures and Design, its staff, projects and collections.
Research interests: Art, Histories of Collecting, Museology, Archaeology, Anthropology, and Critical Heritage Studies.

John Giblin leads the European Decorative Arts, Modern and Contemporary Design, Asia, Mediterranean, Africa, Americas and Oceania curatorial teams.

With a background in art, archaeology and anthropology, John is a recognised leader in the museum sector. At National Museums Scotland, John is responsible for the management and development of the teams who curate the museum’s art, design and cultural collections from Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, the display of these collections in 15 permanent galleries, and the strategic growth of this collection through purchase and donation.

John leads one of National Museums Scotland’s three strategic content areas, Colonial Histories and Legacies and with his global remit plays a central role in delivering the museum’s Strategic Aim 4, ensuring that the unique potential of our collections, expertise and programmes are shared and valued internationally. At National Museums Scotland, John was also the Project Director for the new Collecting Stories gallery and led in the delivery of five new galleries as part of the museum’s masterplan development.

With over 20 years research experience in the field of cultural heritage, John is currently the Principal Investigator for Exchange: Community-Led Collections Research, a collaborative project with Royal Museums Greenwich and museums across the UK and he is the Project Director for Reveal and Connect: Review of African and Caribbean Collections in Scotland, a collaborative project with the University of Glasgow, University of Aberdeen, Glasgow Museums and 38 partner museums across Scotland.

John is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and a Fellow of the Museums Association. He represents National Museums Scotland on several international forums including the European Association of Art and Design Museum Directors, European Ethnography Museum Directors Group, and the Benin Dialogue Group.

Giblin, J., Sinami, A., and S. Chirikure (eds.) Forthcoming. The Routledge Handbook of African Cultural Heritage Studies. Abingdon, UK: Routledge

Cross. C. and J. Giblin (eds.) 2023. Critical Perspectives on Heritage for Development. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Giblin, J. and A. N. Abiti. 2021. A European Jerry-Can. In Pieces of a Nation: South Sudanese Heritage and Museum Collections. Zoe Cormack and Cherry Leonardi (eds.). Leiden, Netherlands: Sidestone Press.

Wingfield, C., Giblin, J., and R. King (eds.) 2020. The pasts and presence of art in South Africa: Technologies, ontologies and agents. Cambridge: Institute for Archaeological Research.

Giblin, J., Ramos, I, and N. Grout (eds.) 2019. Exhibiting the Experience of Empire. Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture, 33 (4-5)

Giblin, J., Ramos, I, and N. Grout. 2019. Dismantling the Master’s House: Thoughts on Representing Empire and Decolonising Museums and Public Spaces in Practice. Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture

Giblin, J. 2018. Heritage and the Use of the Past in East Africa. In The Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of African History. Thomas Spear (ed). New York: Oxford University Press.

Giblin, J. and C. Spring. 2016. South Africa: the art of a nation. London: Thames and Hudson.

Giblin, J., King, R. and B. Smith (eds.). 2014. Ethics in African Archaeology. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, 49 (2).

Giblin, J. 2013. Post-Conflict Heritage: Symbolic Healing and Cultural Renewal. International Journal of Heritage Studies https://DOI:10.1080/13527258-2013-772912

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