Maia Nuku

Maia Nuku is Evelyn A. J. Hall and John A. Friede Associate Curator for Oceanic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was born in London and is of English and Maori (Ngai Tai) descent. Maia’s doctoral research focused on eighteenth century collections of Polynesian art and she completed two post-doctoral fellowships at Cambridge University (2008–2014) as part of an international research team exploring Oceanic collections in major European institutions in France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Russia. Her curatorial approach is driven by an ambition to distill core ideas pertinent to the arts of Oceania, drawing out the distinct themes and cosmological connections that can assist visitors in fully appreciating these unique and compelling arts. Her first exhibition at The Met On Country: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan-Levi Gift (2017) focused on the ways in which ancestral connections are expressed in contemporary Aboriginal art. Her most recent exhibition Atea: Nature and Divinity in Polynesian Art (2018–2019) centered indigenous Pacific perspectives to explore the close material and genealogical networks that bind Polynesian gods and chiefs with Nature. She is currently working on a major reinstallation of the Oceania galleries at The Met.