Category: Visual Culture

Lacquer as Art and Medicinal Material in Early Modern England

CHENG HE Look up the word ‘lacquer’ in an art dictionary, or on Google, and you usually find the word ‘varnish’; a sticky liquid applied to the surface of objects to form a shiny coating. The word can also refer to the objects coated… Continue Reading “Lacquer as Art and Medicinal Material in Early Modern England”

Saints, Beggars and Scapegoats

Why depictions of status and disability in the Early Middle Ages still matter JUTTA LAMMINAHO ‘A lame man crawling along on his hands led a blind man to the paupers’ hostel at St Gall, where both of them stayed the night, and were both… Continue Reading “Saints, Beggars and Scapegoats”

Reflections on ‘The World At War’

DANIEL ADAMSON I was recently intrigued to find a repeat of the 1973 documentary The World at War buried in the depths of Freeview television. Across 26 hour-long episodes, this series chronicled the course of the Second World War and charted the key experiences of the… Continue Reading “Reflections on ‘The World At War’”

What It Feels Like for a Girl: Gendering the History of the Senses

SASHA RASMUSSEN When asked to describe my work, I tend to say that my research sits at the intersection of gender and sensory histories. Gender as a lens of historical analysis has by now been widely adopted, but the concept of ‘sensory history’ may… Continue Reading “What It Feels Like for a Girl: Gendering the History of the Senses”

Collecting Contexts – Why Do We Collect?

WILL BURGESS During the summer of 2019, I volunteered at the V&A’s Lansbury Micro Museum in Poplar, East London, to help run an exhibition called For the Love of Things. The exhibition put the personal collections of the museum’s visitors on display, its shelves changing… Continue Reading “Collecting Contexts – Why Do We Collect?”

Material Culture and Identities: The Case of Eighteenth Century Toby Jugs

KERRY LOVE A main principle of material culture theory (the study of objects and their relationships to people) is that they can reflect or shape the people who lived alongside them in any given time. I have always enjoyed studying objects more than any… Continue Reading “Material Culture and Identities: The Case of Eighteenth Century Toby Jugs”

Everyday Decolonisation: the local museum in 2020

PIPPA LE GRAND A few Monday mornings ago, I stood outside Weston Park Museum, Sheffield, enjoying my job and welcoming visitors. There were few enough around that I was able to gaze at the frieze over the door and even discuss it at length… Continue Reading “Everyday Decolonisation: the local museum in 2020”

James Forbes’ Mango and the Art of British Indian Empire

Apurba Chatterjee In  1765, James Forbes, a mere Scottish lad of less than sixteen years of age, set sail to India following his appointment as a Writer for the English East India Company (EIC) in Bombay. Forbes was to stay in India for eighteen… Continue Reading “James Forbes’ Mango and the Art of British Indian Empire”