Monday, 30 April 2012

A spring range in the study room

My first month working at Beaufort Park has flown by. Supervising study room visits over April has introduced me to the variety of people with specialist interests who make use of MoDA's collection: from shoe designers to Museum curators, historians and third year art & design students.

This month we have had two Middlesex University student visitors who came to use the collection as a source of inspiration for their respective third year projects. Both are interior architecture students and potential candidates for the Arthur Silver Award. We wish them well with their applications. 

Students from other universities have also made use of the collection this spring. Aisyah Ajib is from the Royal College of Art and writing her dissertation for an MA in Architecture. Aisyah is researching the domestic interior in a globalised world and hoping to link suburban London with suburbs in her home country of Malaysia.

Eloise Moss is a PhD student studying Burglary and Burglars in London 1860 to 1939. She used MoDA's collection to investigate domestic security technologies. Her research uncovered some interesting publications in our collection including instructions for a home made burglar alarm! Eloise recently published an article in the Historical Journal ('Burglary insurance and the culture of fear in Britain', November 2011). You can read about her research work in 2011, here

Roger Whidden was our most international visitor, coming all the way from New York City. He is interested in promotional brochures for flats and housing estates in the US and the UK and spent an afternoon searching through our pamphlet collection. Roger found out about MoDA through the Explore Twentieth Century London website which features various objects from our collection.

On a completely different note, we welcomed shoe designer Salem Yohans to the Collection Centre. She came to look at 1950s wallpaper sample books and textile designs as inspiration for her next season's range.

Did you know that stainless steel was invented in 1912? Lucy Cooper, the metalwork curator at Museums Sheffield, spent a day at MoDA researching for an exhibition on the history of stainless steel which will open next year.

On the topic of exhibitions, last week we received an update from Stephen Jackson at the National Museum of Scotland about a previous request for a wallpaper from our collection to reproduce in a new gallery. The wallpaper 'Emily' by Mary Storr for John Lines & Sons is now on show in the refurbished Art and Industry gallery which will be open until 2014. If you are interested in the relationship between design, style and new technologies, this will be the exhibition for you. Thank you Stephen for letting us know how the design has been used. 

Display in the Art and Industry gallery, National Museum of Scotland. Photo credit: Stephen Jackson

It has been an inspiring month in the study room. Please let me know if you are interested in booking a visit ( email or 020 8411 5445)

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