Thursday, 8 August 2013

Revisiting past exhibitions

Some of the most appealing boxes for MoDA study room visitors to look through are our 'Exhibition boxes'. These big black hardboard boxes contain an assortment of designs, wallpapers, photographs and textiles that have previously been on display. Unlike other boxes in our collection store, these are a delightful mix of objects in different media, grouped around a particular exhibition theme.

The popularity of the exhibition boxes means we've decided they are going to be the focus of our next conservation and documentation project. Over the next months we will sort them, remove designs from heavy (and now unnecessary) mounts, undertake some conservation work on particular pieces and ensure they are all in the best state possible to be seen by MoDA study room visitors.

We will keep you informed as the project  progresses, but for now I thought I would introduce you to these past exhibitions and give you a highlight object from each.

Some of the boxes relate to Archibald Knox 1864-1933. This exhibition was put on by MoDA in 1996 and was also shown at the Hunterian Art GalleryUniversity of Glasgow in 1997. 

Design for a textile by Archibald Knox, around 1900, Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture ( SD25501A)

Other boxes are for objects displayed in the 1989 exhibition A Popular Art: British Wallpapers 1930-1960. The exhibition catalogue is available to purchase through Middlesex University's online store.

Wallpaper from the Palladio 4 series,designed by Eric Thomas for Lighbown Aspinall branch of the WPM
Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (SC48C)
The other exhibitions are Art Nouveau Designs from the Silver Studio Collection 1885-1910.

Design for a textile by the Silver Studio, 1899, Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture ( SD8440)

...British Wallpapers in Australia 1870-1940, 

Winnie the Pooh nursery frieze, Sandersons Ltd, 1928, Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (SC1C)


Possibly the most popular boxes are those from the Centenary exhibition in 1983, A London Design Studio 1880 - 1963. The catalogue from the exhibition is for sale in our online shop, and also contains good introductory essays about the Silver Studio

Design for a book cover by Harry Napper for the Silver Studio in 1897
Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (SD459)

Lastly, there are objects from the two exhibitions The Decoration of the Suburban Villa 1880 - 1940 and Little Palaces: The Suburban House in North London 1919-1939. 


Gas Fire catalogue from 1928, Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (SM11)

Watch this space! We will show you more treasures as we progress with the work on the exhibition boxes.

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