The New Zealand Cricket Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Owen Mann as the museum’s new curator.
Mann joins the New Zealand Cricket Museum with over 16 years curatorial and collection management experience in the cultural sector and will be charged with leading the move of the collection back into its home at the Basin Reserve in preparation for reopening.
The appointment is a return to the museum of sorts for Mann who was a collections officer for the museum in 2009 where he helped source, accession, and store some of the current collection items.
Currently a visitor centre educator at Government House Wellington, he has also held research, history and advisor roles with Nga Taonga Sound and Vision (New Zealand Archive of Film, Television and Sound) and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.
Along with his wealth of cultural experience, Mann also holds an honours degree and a first-class master’s degree in history from Victoria University, both of which were awarded the F. P. Wilson prize for excellence in New Zealand history. He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies from Deakin University in Melbourne.
His academic specialty is sport and culture, particularly their influence on cultural and social patterns. Mann’s master’s thesis studied cricket tours to New Zealand in the inter-war years and how they exemplified modernity and tradition. He has had work published in the International Journal of the History of Sport, where he explored the Lord Hawke XI cricket tour to New Zealand in 1902/03.
“It’s a really exciting project to undertake,” said Mann.
“A lot of the idea and the vision for the displays at the Cricket Museum is already well underway so my vision is to help find objects that really help tell the story of the collection as best as possible.
“Ultimately we really want to connect people with the ground and the collections through public programmes and things like school tours which I hope will really bring the museum and the history of cricket alive.’’
New Zealand Cricket Museum chair Ruth Harley said she was delighted to welcome Mann on board ahead of an important period for the museum.
“We’re very excited to bring in a curator with the expertise and experience of Owen’s,” she said.
“Owen is a published cricket historian, a qualified museum specialist and he held positions that focus on visitor experience. We are thrilled he is bringing this rich skill base to the Museum.
“The Museum is an important part of the tapestry of cricket in our country and our hope is that we can utilise Owen’s talents to tell stories that can connect our fans and participants with the history of cricket in New Zealand.’’
The New Zealand Cricket Museum is on track to reopen its doors in February 2021 in line with commencement of the Women’s World Cup.