Sometime museum collections take a while to find a home. This lidded ceramic box was made in Thailand in the 14th–16th centuries. It forms part of a collection that Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Neville donated to the University in 1939–1940. Mr. Neville, a U-M alumnus, held important U.S. government posts in China and Japan and served as minister to Siam (Thailand). While in Thailand, he built an impressive collection of ceramics and other objects. When the collection arrived in Ann Arbor, it was catalogued into the classical archaeology collections and placed in the Museum of Art and Archaeology (a short-lived merger of the art and classical archaeology museums that existed from 1940–1945). However, the collection’s many ceramic wasters and fragments and geographic origin did not fit the missions of either museum. In 1964, the collection was transferred to the Museum of Anthropology on long-term loan, where it valuably complements other Asian ceramic collections.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.