Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Summer in the study room

The Great British summer has been off to a slow start. With June and July breaking rainfall records, it’s fair to say these have been months best spent indoors. Some people made the most of the lacklustre weather by booking into MoDA's study room, staying warm and dry whilst researching and exploring the museum’s collections.

Over the last three months we've had visitors ranging from an author researching for a historical novel, to high street fashion designers and a community college student. A highlight for us has been a Saturday session with an enthusiastic and engaged class of MA students studying the History of Design at Oxford University. 

Oxford MA students looking through the magazine collection at MoDA

Katie McInness from Christie's Education has booked in to see the collection a few times, as she is picking up on the Liberty - Silver Studio link for her dissertation in MLitt in Art, Style and Design. Her research into the relationship between the design studio and the famous high street retailer is very topical and we're looking forward to hearing what she finds in our collection and other places such as the Liberty's archive.

Katie McInness looks through a box of Art Nouveau designs  in MoDA's collection. 

There have been a few familiar faces too. We're already mentioned Jessica Kelly, who has been back, carrying on her PhD research on JM Richards and the Architectural Review. Also fellow PhD student Hollie Price returned to make use of our magazine collection as she continues her work on domestic interiors in British feature films. 

A significant but often overlooked part of MoDA is our pamphlet collection. It comprises brochures, notes and booklets which were the every-day, throw-away printed matter of their time. Those that survived are now valuable historical source material. Two researchers came to use our pamphlet collection this summer: Oxford University post-graduate student Jill Hartley looked at housing and real estate brochures of the 1930s, and Kingston University MA student Nami Chikhlia, researching an exhibition proposal for the National Trust Property, 2 Willow Road. 

Three items from MoDA's pamphlet collection [BADDA319, BADDA91 and BADDA51, MoDA]

Jacqueline Curry from Instyle spent a day with us studying alternative mark making and layouts in mid-century designs. Instyle is an Australian textile company making a name for themselves by promoting sustainability in design. We enjoyed chatting to Jacqueline about the ways the award-winning company is facing up to environmental issues in their work.

Jacqueline Curry inspecting a Palladio wallpaper book [SC48, Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture]

Over the summer break, some Middlesex University lecturers have met in the study room to browse through objects and discuss ways to use MoDA’s collections for course work in the new academic year.  A reoccurring theme has been COLOUR. We have a wealth of material on the topic – from paint charts, to fabric swatches and booklets proffering advice on good taste and colour matching. We will be showcasing some more of these objects on the website soon. Watch this space!

Colour chart, House & Garden, 1957 [BADDA4633, MoDA]

Lastly, it's worth mentioning a special visitor we had one afternoon. Choreographer Jemma Bicknell came in to talk with us about a performance in the study room, inspired by MoDA’s collection for her Museum Pieces series. She has done similar work in other institutions such as the British Dental Association Museum. We look forward to updating you as this exciting project develops. 

No comments:

Post a Comment