Wednesday, 21 March 2012

What have our recent visitors to the MoDA Study Room been looking at?

Its been a few months since we last shared with you more examples of the fascinating research taking place in the MoDA Study Room. So here is an overview of what our recent visitors have been looking at:

Academic Hilary Hinds is based in the English Department at Lancaster University, and is currently researching the history of twin beds during the late nineteenth century, through to the 1940s. Hilary has already published a fascinating article based on her research for the Design History Society Journal, and wanted to visit MoDA as part of the continuation of the project. In particular she chose to focus on trade catalogues produced by furniture manufacturers and retailers, and household guides and manuals. These included 'Pearsons Home Management' (1904) , 'From Kitchen to Garrett' (1889), 'The Complete Household Adviser', 'The Happy House', 'Harmswell House Encyclopaedia' , and 'The Homeowner's Handbook' (1930s) - what collectively could be described as advice literature. Hilary was hoping that this material would give her an insight into the extent to which manufacturers and retailers were selling and marketing twin beds, and how a married couple's sleeping arrangements were being discussed in the advice literature of the day.

Another frequent visitor to MoDA is Guilia Ricci, artist-in-residence based within Middlesex University's Fine Art department. After previously looking at abstract and geometric designs produced by the Silver Studio from the 1930s, Guilia has transferred her attention to bold geometric wallpaper patterns from the 50s & 60s, including the Palladio series, initiated by the Lightbown Aspinall branch of the WPM in the 1950s.

First time visitor, Diti Vora, MA Textile Design student at the University of the Arts, has been looking at trade catalogues as part of her research into the importance of lighting for interiors and textile design, and the history of the living room.

Harriet Atkinson, Phd student at the University of Brighton, has been looking at the Charles Hasler Collection. We're really excited that Harriet has been able to make use of this collection, as its probably the least known about or used collection we hold. Harriet is looking at a number of graphic designers and typographers, many of whom would have moved in the same circles as Hasler. We look forward to finding out how her research progresses.

Hollie Price, Film Studies PHd student at Queen Mary, University of London, has been looking at some the lifestyle/interiors magazines that we hold including House & Garden, as part of her research into representations of the 1940s home.

It's great to see visitors exploring all areas of our collections. We look forward to receiving more visitors to the Study Room, and will of course keep you posted as to who comes in. In the meantime it is Maggie's last day at MoDA before she goes on maternity leave and I am sure you will join with me in wishing her best wishes. Whilst Maggie is away, Louisa Knight will be supervising all Study Room visits. More on Louisa to follow.

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