By Aaron Glass (Bard Graduate Center)
After knowing about the book for a couple of years, I finally found the time to read The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), Edmund de Waal’s evocative exploration of his material patrimoine. The book traces its author’s geographical, archival, and emotional wanderings though the past century and a half and across the globe as he pieces together the story of his family, largely through its accumulated—and then mostly alienated—collections. Where objects are no longer extant, de Waal reconstructs their once-presence from lists, ledgers, account books, registries, catalogues, photographs, letters, memoirs, and novels.
One Day Meeting, Leicester
Saturday March 2nd, 2013
Museums and Galleries History Group/Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University
The status of photographs in the history of museum collections is a complex one. From the inception of the medium its double capacity as an aesthetic form and as a recording medium created tensions about its place in the hierarchy of museum objects. While museums had been amassing photographs since about 1850, it was, for instance, only in the 1970s that the first senior curators of photographs were appointed in UK museums. On the one hand major collections of ‘art’ photography have grown in status and visibility, while photographs not designated ‘art’ are often invisible in museums. On the other hand almost every museum has photographs as part of its ecosystem, gathered as information, corroboration or documentation, shaping the understanding of other classes of objects. Many of these collections remain uncatalogued and their significance unrecognised. However recent years have seen an increasing interest in the histories of these humble objects, both their role in collections histories and their histories in their own right.
Professor Elizabeth Edwards
Director: Photographic History Research Centre
De Montfort University
Portland Building 2.4.
Leicester LE1 9BH
[Greek Coffee Cup, 1960s; from the NY Times site]
An artichoke and an elevator. A Checker taxicab and a conductor’s baton. A MetroCard and a mastodon tusk.
Inspired by “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” the British Museum’s BBC radio series and book, the NY Times recruited historians and museum curators to identify 50 objects that could embody the narrative of New York.
Perhaps coincidently (perhaps not), the same issue also contains this article about the value of souvenirs (although readers of Material World might want to defend the term “stuff” from its headline-writing detractors, as the author herself goes on to do).
ICON Ethnography Group in partnership with the University of Glasgow is hosting a half day session at the ICON Conference 2013, Glasgow, focusing on the shared materials between Ethnography and Natural History collections. From plant to animal materials, Ethnographic and Natural History conservators frequently treat objects containing these shared materials. How is the approach to treating these objects different or similar? Can Ethnographic and Natural History conservators share techniques, and do they? We would like to use the similarity of materials as a starting point in order to explore approaches to the ethics, treatments and research relating to both Ethnographic and Natural History collections. Moreover, can we increase our skills by actively collaborating over projects and research? Topics may include, but are not limited to – how pesticide-treated objects are managed within collections; pest damaged fur and feather objects and the options for reattachment; fading of organic pigments or mitigating damage from previous conservation treatments…
Deadlines for papers
Please send abstracts – max 300 words - by 10th September 2012 to email@example.com
Paper presentations are expected to last for approximately 20 minutes.
Please include the names, addresses and email addresses of all authors and indicate the author for correspondence.
Papers will be selected by 10th October 2012.
Bookings open 1st September 2012.
Deadline for submission of papers to special conference issue of the Journal is 28th February 2013.
Conference papers will not be published but authors are invited to submit their papers for consideration for publication in the Spring 2014 issue of the Journal of the Institute of Conservation.Further information will be available on our website.