Provenance of artifacts donated to the Ethnographic Museum of Geneva from League of Nations Officials and Diplomats (1920-1946)

Auteur Trinity NJUME-EBONG
Directeur /trice Federica Tamarozzi
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s) Danielle Buyssens
Résumé de la thèse

As a young woman born in Geneva due to both parents and other family members being long term employees at the United Nations, I am extremely interested in further understanding how art had historically been used as a means of diplomacy or whichever other relations may have ensued between cultural institutions and international organizations. This is the foundation for my interest in this subject.


As I am currently writing my MA thesis for the ZHdK in Zürich specifically on the Conches Annex of the Ethnographic Museum of Geneva (1976-2013), I have naturally read historical literature of the museum's formation, where repetitive mention is made to a large number of early "exotic" objects, being mere donations from international functionaries and diplomats from the League of Nations, no only just due to their close geographical proximity to one another until 1941, but also their institutional establishment almost coinciding (1910 for the MEG, 1920 for the League of Nations).


I aim to explore in what "form" these donations may have been made, and whether these exchanges were done using some form of diplomatic protocol, or whether they may still hide questionable modes of acquisition. What may have been the general motives for offering artistic artifacts to the neighboring institution?


This marriage between culture and diplomacy through two distinctive major Geneva institutions at the turn of the century is one that checks every research interest of mine since the start of my Bachelor program in 2011.


I am currently looking for a space to extend the knowledge acquired from my MA thesis into a Doctoral program at a reputable University. My choice is naturally the University of Geneva due to its own historical ties to the early foundation of the Ethnographic Museum of Geneva through its founder, Eugène Pittard.



I thank you and look forward to hearing back to you soon for a further exchange.


Trinity Mesimé Njume-Ebong

Statut au début
Délai administratif de soutenance de thèse 2024