Henrietta Lidchi is currently Chief Curator at the National Museum of World Cultures (Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen) in the Netherlands, and holds a grant at the National Museums Scotland, as Principal Investigator on the project Baggage and Belonging: Military Collections and the British Empire (1750-1900) which focusses on military collections.
From 2005 to 2017, she was Keeper of the Department of World Cultures, National Museums Scotland. Prior to this (1994-2002) she worked at the British Museum as a curator on the North American collections, working on temporary exhibitions and permanent galleries including the JP Morgan Chase gallery of North America. Lidchi earned her degree at Durham University and her PhD at the Open University, in anthropology, development and cultural studies. Lidchi has worked on more than twenty temporary exhibitions and permanent galleries and has worked on government policy documents on repatriation, human remains and museums policy. Lidchi was Vice President of the Native American Art Studies Association from 2016-2020 and is currently Honorary Professor of the School of Political and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh.
Lidchi’s interests include working questions of colonial collecting and the history of collections; practices of representation, collecting and display; visual culture; questions of craft and craft practice and Native North American art and material culture. Her book chapter on ‘The Poetics and Politics of Representing Other Cultures’ has been extended and republished in Hall, S., Evans, J. & Nixon, S. (eds.) (2013) Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, as has her graduate work on NGO photography in Rodogno, D. & Ferhenbach, H. (eds.) Humanitarian Photography: A History (2016). Other publications include the co-edited Imaging the Arctic (1998), Visual Currencies (2009), and Dividing the Spoils (2020) and the monograph Surviving Desires: making and selling jewellery in the American Southwest (2015).
While at CARMAH she worked on special journal issue arising from conference presentations organized by CARMAH at EASA in Milan. She also contributed to the strand of research called ‘Transforming the Ethnographic’, taking forward research on collecting practices, museums and the question of confinement and the relationship between museum anthropology and academic anthropology.