World gallery (world gallery - gallery text)

World Gallery

What is a life well lived? What is it that we hold dear?

This gallery celebrates human creativity, imagination and adaptability. Here we can discover the beauty and variety of the world’s many cultures and meet the makers and users of these objects.

Our Anthropology collections show some of the ways ordinary people from every continent live their lives, caring for each other and making their way in the world. People everywhere share stories, raise children, celebrate life and remember their dead.

We can learn from the many different ways that people understand and describe the world we all share. We can discover the common human virtues of love and compassion, trust and friendship, dignity and courage.

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Family Labels

The sections of the gallery are:


The sentiment wall
Asian encounters
Oceania encounters
European encounters
American encounters
African encounters
Textile perspective
Collectors perspective
Museum perspective


Horniman's vision
Introduction timeline
Horniman's travels
Surrey House Museum
Horniman's sources

.vision:subject|Visions of the world

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: