Tag: curation

CFP: 8 September 2017. DATS Conference: Dress and Biography.

The Practical Display Instructor

In the acknowledgements for H. C. Murrill’s book The Practical Display Instructor (first published in 1932 and updated in 1961 and 1967) the British Display Society is thanked for allowing permission to reproduce questions from its Part A (Primary) and Part B (Intermediate) examination papers. The BDS was established in 1947 to ‘encourage and promote the highest standards of Visual Merchandising design and of display installation throughout commerce, industry and indeed wherever display techniques were utilized.’

'The Practical Display Instructor' by HC Murrills. Image courtesy of Claire Wilcox.

‘The Practical Display Instructor’ by HC Murrills. Image courtesy of Claire Wilcox.

I’m not aware of any curators having gained such a qualification, although it would not be unreasonable. The BDS website elaborates ‘For a creative individual there can be nothing more rewarding than to stand back and view a finished store display which they have designed and built from scratch. Unless perhaps, it is the positive reaction to it from the store owners or managers and the public at large. The ultimate reward of course is the increased store traffic and sales that it generates.’

Exchange the word ‘store’ for ‘museum’ and the two practices don’t seem so different. In fact, standing back and admiring one’s own handiwork is the kind of guilty pleasure that curators also partake in. Of course the real difference is that the primary intention of a window display is to generate footfall and sales, whereas for a museum it is to generate footfall and impart knowledge; labels replace price tags. Either way, creating a display that ‘sells’ – whether for profit or cultural enrichment – requires visual authority.

'The Practical Display Instructor' by HC Murrills. Image courtesy of Claire Wilcox.

‘The Practical Display Instructor’ by HC Murrills. Image courtesy of Claire Wilcox.

I have kept rather quiet about this, but my first hands on experience of ‘display’ came shortly after leaving university. My father had a shop on the Fulham Road selling, in his words, ‘pictures, antiques and junk.’ At a loose end, and with elevated ideas about my own artistry, I persuaded him to let me do the shop windows. I created dramatic room settings with pillars, swags and artful groupings of silver and china. He was rather embarrassed, his natural inclination being to use the window as a holding bay while the main action took place on the pavement. The displays were quite a success and I often saw people looking at them at night. However, I became increasingly imperious and refused to allow anything to be sold from the windows, so negating their entire purpose. To his relief I got a job at the V&A soon after, and he happily went back to his old ways.

Claire Wilcox

18 November 2016

Batsford produced a comprehensive series of instruction manuals on various display methods including specialized volumes on fashion. Many of these can be found in the LCF library.

 

 

 

Cabinet Stories opens to the public

The Cabinet Stories project launched in early 2016 exploring fashion from different curatorial perspectives in the traditional museum setting of a cabinet.  The project, which is a collaboration between the Centre for Fashion Curation and the Social Responsibility team at LCF, visited communities that may experience disadvantage and has been displayed in a women’s prison, a mental health centre for people with borderline personality disorder, and an older people’s home. As it opens to the public this week in Poplar,  Curator Alison Moloney reflects on the project.

Cabinet Stories

Cabinet Stories, Photo by Hanna Puskarz

“I don’t have a gallery space so projects such as Cabinet Stories, which tour to the audience, are instinctive. My work also has a strong emphasis on widening participation and I explore different media outcomes – for example film with my project 1914 Now – to reach these audiences.

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Come and Mend, Embroider and Discover your Fashion Stories

As part of their Collaborative Unit, MA Fashion Curation students are hosting a one day workshop that invites you to share stories and memories carried by clothing. You will then learn basic techniques to embroider lines from the stories and memories into your garment.  The workshop takes place at LCF, 10am on 9 May.

The workshop is part of the Fashion Narratives project which will culminate in an exhibition in the Take Courage Gallery on 14-16 June.

For more details and to apply see www.facebook.com/FashionNarratives, or email:  fashionnarrativesual@gmail.com

Fashion Narratives Workshop (2)

John Piper: the Fabric of Modernism

Amy de la Haye reviews John Piper: The Fabric of Modernism a major exhibition in Pallant House, Chichester, that examines the designer of modern textiles and tapestries.

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John Piper: The Fabric of Modernism is showing in Pallant House, Chichester, Sussex. 12 March 2016 – 12 June 2016

This review first appeared in Selvedge May/June issue 70 ‘Delicate’ published in print and online.  The same Issue contains a review of The House of Worth: Portrait of an Archive book by Amy de la Haye and Valerie D. Mendes.

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Amy de la Haye is Professor of Dress History and Curatorship Rootstein Hopkins Chair at London College of Fashion.

 

The House of Worth: Portrait of an Archive by Amy de la Haye and Valerie Mendes

Issue 70 of Selvedge magazine reviews The House of Worth by Amy de la Haye and Valerie D. Mendes.

Worth Review

The same Issue contains a review of John Piper’s latest book on the Fabric of Modernism by Amy de la Haye

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Selvedge May/June issue 70 ‘Delicate’ is published in print and online.

Amy de la Haye is Professor of Dress History and Curatorship Rootstein Hopkins Chair at London College of Fashion.

Valerie D. Mendes, formerly Head of Fashion and Textiles at the V&A, is a freelance fashion and textiles Historian.

 

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