News, 30 March 2011
1) SSN News
Children at Home Conference
The Third Annual Histories of Home SSN Conference, Children at Home, was
held on Friday 18 March 2011 at the Geffrye Museum and was attended by
61 delegates. The audience included curators, educators, academics and
postgraduate students, with many SSN members attending. Papers included
historical surveys, case studies and contemporary analyses exploring
children’s views of the concept of home.
Abstracts are now available to download on the SSN webpage at
New initiative to improve sharing expertise across UK museums
The National Museum Directors’ Conference (NMDC) has joined bodies
representing museums to collaborate on a new programme of work, which
aims to increase and improve the sharing of skills and expertise across the
UK museum sector. The Association of Independent Museums, Collections
Trust, the Museums Association, the National Museum Directors’ Conference
and the University Museums Group have committed to working more closely
together to enable museums of all types to better share their skills and
expertise throughout the professional and volunteer community through a joint
Sharing Expertise group. Two elements of this work are underway and due for
completion by the end of April ’11:
*Assessing current practice to share knowledge and skills around collections
and their management and developing proposals for a framework to do this
better. *Reviewing current mechanisms and scoping capacity for sharing
expertise by national museums, in all areas of museum operation and
The findings of these projects will inform next steps in the initiative. For more
information see the NMDC and Museums Association websites.
Collections knowledge sharing consultation
The Museums Association (MA) is carrying out research into approaches to
sharing collections-related expertise in museums across the UK. The MA is
keen to analyse ways in which museums source and share expertise, from
training and subject specialist networks to regional skills-sharing programmes
and partnerships. As part of this research, the MA held two consultation
events in March, with the Histories of Home SSN represented at the London
consultation on 15 March.
2) Call for papers: Between the ‘Old’ and the ‘New’:
Furnishing the Elite Interior 1740-1940
11-14 April 2012, Glasgow, European Social Science History Conference
This session examines European and North American market practice in
order to address class difference and identification in the lust for the ‘new’ of
the eighteenth-century elites and the desire for the ‘old’ amongst the aspirant
middle classes thereafter. This session will explore the movement of meaning
of domestic objects – the play between ‘old’ and ‘new’ across time and place
– for the elite and those who aspired to join their ranks. Specific case studies
that might suggest a wider commercial practice are welcome as well as
papers concerned with historic themes of class identity through consumption.
Proposals are due by 1 May 2011.
Please contact Dr Kerry Bristol,
School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies
University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9JT
3) Events: Museums at Night 2011 events
Twilight Tours: Tales of Dr Johnson’s House during World War II
Dr Johnson’s House, 17 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE
Friday 13 May 2011, 1st tour at 7.30pm, 2nd tour at 8.15pm
Tickets: £10/£9 concessions (tours last approx. 45 minutes)
A rare opportunity to see many of the rooms in Johnson's historic house lit by
candlelight in these special curator-led twilight tours. Follow the Curators as
they explore the 300 year old house, bringing to light the house’s fascinating
history during World War II. Learn about auxiliary firemen, incendiary bombs,
collections stored in suitcases, burning oil barrels and many a deserved cup
of tea.
Please note: Dr Johnson’s House has many unavoidable steps. Groups are
limited in size and tickets must be booked in advance – book online at
www.drjohnsonshouse.or/events.htm or send a cheque made payable to ‘Dr
Johnson’s House Trust Ltd’ to Dr Johnson’s House, 17 Gough Square,
London EC4A 3DE.
4) Events: FLOW: a conference in two parts
Thursday 12 and Friday 13 May 2011
Lawley Lecture Theatre, Kingston University and Dorich House Museum,
Kingston Hill, London
Fees: £150/£80 (students) (incl. refreshments and lunch on both days
and an evening reception at Dorich House Museum on Thursday 12 May)
Bookings are now open for the Dorich House Conference hosted by the
Modern Interiors Research Centre and the Landscape Interface Studio,
Kingston University in collaboration with Queensland University of
Technology, Australia.
FLOW: a conference in two parts will address issues of the complex
relationships between interiors and landscape through a consideration of
transitional, permeable and ambiguous spaces, which have become
increasingly relevant to the understanding of the modern interior. The aim of
the conference is to reconsider and advance research into a number of
dualisms that sit at the heart of our understanding of the modern interior
inside and outside, private and public, domestic and non-domestic.
In 2011, FLOW 1 will take a historical perspective covering the period from
the late 19th century to the present day. Queensland University of Technology
will host FLOW 2 in Brisbane, Australia in February 2012, with the aim of
developing themes that emerge from the London conference.
For bookings and further information please visit:
5) Events: Country houses then and now: formation, patronage and
Monday 6 June 2011, University of Wolverhampton
Fees: No charge, but places are limited (refreshments provided)
Seminar organised as part of the Design History Society’s Regional Seminar
Series. The seminar includes papers on the furnishing of country houses in
the past and the recreation and conservation of interiors in houses open to the
public in the present day. Speakers will present ongoing research and
reflections on recent work carried out by heritage organisations. For more
information and to book a place please email Dr Margaret Ponsonby
Senior Lecturer in History, University of Wolverhampton
6) Events: 'Preserving the Past, Inspiring the Future' Conference
Tuesday 7 June 2011, 9.30am – 4.45pm
Bucks New University, High Wycombe, HP13 6HN
Fees: £75/£55 (concs.)/£35 (students)
This conference will look at new initiatives in predicted furniture activities for
the coming century as well as examine key aspects of conservation and
historical studies from the past. Hosted by the Furniture Research Group
(formerly the 20th century Furniture Research Group) and part of the new
National School of Furniture, this event will include a keynote from the Head
of the National School of Furniture: High Wycombe, along with national and
international speakers representing furniture conservation, design, history and
manufacture. Displays and hands-on activities will also take place at the
Conference 'Fringe' in the National School of Furniture's galleries, studios and
Further details: . Book
online at
or contact:, Tel: 01494 522 141 ext 3583.
7) Events: Timescapes Conference: Understanding and Supporting
Families over Time
13-14 June 2011, Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London
Fees: £100 one day/£180 two days
A collaboration between ESRC Timescapes, The Social Policy Association
and the Family and Parenting Institute
This conference will bring together academics, policy makers and
practitioners in the UK to explore how we may better understand and support
families over time. It will draw on a growing body of evidence on the shaping
of families through the life course, with a particular focus on the Life chances
of Children and Young People, the Dynamics of Parenthood and Family Life,
and Older Lives and Times.
Day one of the conference, Understanding Families over Time, will present
evidence from Timescapes and other key studies on changing lives and times
across the generations, and will explore the implications of the findings for
family policy. Day two of the conference, Supporting Families over Time, will
explore the different ways in which public and third sector initiatives are
supporting families with complex needs, including those living in poverty.
Programme and booking information:
8) Events: ARLIS (Art Libraries Society) UK & Ireland Annual Conference
- Weaving new futures: collaboration and reinvention in the digital age
13-15 July 2011, University of Leeds
Fees: £450 for 3 days, fully inclusive; £90 - £118 for day delegate rates
(includes lunch but excludes conference dinner and evening events)
The programme will look at collaboration and reinvention in the current
financial climate, with presentations from a variety of speakers and institutions
including Penelope Curtis from Tate Britain delivering the keynote speech. A
range of breakout sessions will discuss topics such as marketing, working
with volunteers, copyright and exploiting your resources. There will be an
opportunity to visit different institutions around the city including the Henry
Moore Institute and Leeds University Special Collections. To book online and
to see the conference programme, please visit
9) Events: ‘Figured paper for hanging rooms’: consuming wallpaper in
18th century Britain Lecture
Tuesday 12th July 2011, 6.30pm – 9.30pm
The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AT
Fees: £25/£20 (including refreshments)
Organised by the Wallpaper History Society. The evening will start with
tea/coffee on arrival followed by an illustrated talk with Q&A for approximately
1½ - 2 hours. This is then followed by further refreshments and an opportunity
to network with other members.
To book please visit the WHS events page at
10) Useful resources: Revitalising historic sites through
contemporary art blog
"Revitalizing Historic Sites" is an exploration of contemporary art at history
sites; information and research featured formed the basis of Kate Laurel
MacIntosh's Master's Thesis in Museum Studies at the Harvard University
Extension School. Research is ongoing. Contact the writer with questions,
comments, or additional information at