Inspiration – Arts and Crafts

On a slightly unrelated note, I thought I would write a quick post about my current fascination with the Arts and Crafts movement. I seem to keep coming back to this aesthetic at the moment and I wanted to share some sources which may prove inspiring.

The Day Lily wallpaper, Walter Crane. In the British Galleries at the V&A.

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Mounting costume at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

I have recently been helping curators at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) with mounting costume for their new history galleries (opening in October, looking brilliant!).

I have been learning how to pad mannequins to fit the costumes more exactly, in order to fully support the pieces and to improve the apearance of the display.

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Social History Curators Group Conference 2012

Bristol’s M Shed

I had a wonderful time at the SHCG conference last week. Taking place over two days at Cardiff Story and Bristol’s M Shed, it brought together a variety of people working in the sector to hear presentations about interesting work and to discuss current and future practice. I really enjoyed meeting people from different museums, and the atmosphere was very friendly and welcoming. So much so that I was voted onto the SHCG committee! I’m really excited to get involved.

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Accessioning and labeling the belongings of a WW2 RAF pilot

RAF uniform dress jacket

Today I have been practising my neatest handwriting and smallest stitches in order to label some items which are being added to the museum’s collection. Careful completion of accession documentation and object labeling is crucial in keeping a clear record of what excactly is in the collection and tying up an object with the information we hold about it.

Today it was the turn of a collection of items relating to one man’s service in the RAF during the Second World War. He was a pilot and we have received his battle jacket, flying helmet, and flight suit, as well as several dress uniforms. These items are fascinating in themselves, but also present an interesting lesson in labeling different kinds of objects.

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Social History Curators’ Group Conference 2012

I’m thrilled that I have been awarded one of the free places at the Social History Curators’ Group (SHCG) conference 2012, available to those who have not previously attended an SHCG event. I am really excited by the programme, and delighted that one of the days will be based at Bristol’s M Shed, possibly my very favourite museum!

The theme for the conference is interpretation. I’m really looking forward to hearing about the work of innovative curators, and to participating in debate around the interpretation issues currently facing museums. 

I will be tweeting my thoughts from the conference, and will also write a review for the SHCG newsletter.

I hope to see some of you there!


I have installed my first ever proper museum display! It is a celebration of the upcoming Diamond Jubilee, and includes objects from previous royal jubilees. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Here is a pic of the finished display:

I have enjoyed putting together the display, although it is surprising how much time it takes!

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