Category Archives: Collaborative work

Decoding the domestic interior in British portraits, seminar, 28 June 2017


Portrait of Bell and Dorothy Freeman by Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1914). Purchased with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and the Arts Council England/Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund.


This seminar for scholars and museum professionals seeks to explore some key themes around the nature of domestic interiors as found in British portraits from the early modern period to the present day. How can we start to interpret the pictorial world in which portrait sitters are placed? Are such spaces representations of contemporary interiors, or are they fictional spheres which – like pose, costume, and props – serve to convey coded messages about the sitters? By exploring portraits in various media throughout this period, speakers will consider these questions, helping interiors and portrait researchers to understand these mediated artistic constructs and interpret the contemporary symbolism within.

This event is a collaboration between the Histories of Home and the Understanding British Portraits Subject Specialist Networks. It is aimed at researchers, academics, and museum professionals engaged with portraiture, or historical and modern interiors. Papers will include scholarly case studies as well as contributions from museum professionals using portraits as a research tool, and engaging audiences in design history through the use of historic portraits.

The event will take place at the Geffrye Museum of the Home.

PDF: Decoding the Domestic Interior in British Portraits 28 June ’17 – programme

PDF download: Decoding the domestic interior in British portraits 28 June ’17 – booking form


Leave a comment

Filed under Collaborative work, Conferences, Events, Knowledge Exchange, Museum, SSN News

PhD opportunities at the CSH – deadline extended!

I previously posted that The Centre for Studies of Home has been awarded four AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards on ‘Home-Work: connections and transitions in London from the 17th Century to the present’.  (See original post here)

Two of the four PhD studentship opportunities are being re-advertised in order to broaden and strengthen the field of potential applicants.  The CSH welcomes applications for the following two projects:

Home, work and migration in the East End of London since 1945

Men juggling work, home and family in contemporary London

Further details can be found in the links above.  The deadline for applications is 4pm on Wednesday 1st August 2012.

Please pass this information on to any colleagues or students who may be interested in this opportunity.


Leave a comment

Filed under Collaborative work, Funding, Job Opportunity, Museum

PhD Opportunity at the Science Museum and Oxford Brookes University

SSN members may be interested in a PhD opportunity available at the Science Museum and Oxford Brookes University.

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award ‘Chemicals and their Users in the British Home, 1930s-1980s’

Department of History, Philosophy and Religion, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford/ Science Museum, London


An AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award studentship covering stipend and tuition fee costs is offered in the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion at Oxford Brookes University (OBU) in collaboration with the Science Museum.

This project aims to examine the relationship between the public and chemistry in hitherto unexplored manner. While the introduction of electricity into the home has attracted much interest, the introduction of branded chemical products into the home has not been examined by historians at all. Yet the introduction of these products was linked to a major shift in the way that people engaged with chemistry. This shift took place in the 1960s and 1970s, when it is often assumed that public trust in chemistry waned. By studying chemicals and their use in the home before, during, and after this period, this project will therefore not only explore people’s relationship to chemistry, but it will also investigate how and why public attitudes towards it changed in the third quarter of the 20th century.

Supervision will be available from Dr Viviane Quirke (OBU) and Dr Peter Morris (Science Museum). The successful candidate will be expected to participate fully in the life of both communities.
To see the full advert please go to the Oxford Brookes website.

To request an application pack, please email:
Charmian Hearne, Research Administrator, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences . Tel: + 44 (0) 1865 48 4998

The deadline for applications is 16 July 2012.

It is anticipated that interviews will take place at Oxford Brookes University during the week of 30 July 2012. For more on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at OBU please visit our web site at:

For informal enquiries concerning the project contact Dr Viviane Quirke.

Leave a comment

Filed under Collaborative work, Funding, SSN News

Museums and Libraries in/of the Age of Migration

The EU-funded project MeLA (Museums and Libraries in/of the Age of Migration, is developing multi-disciplinary resources for investigating major European public museums, supporting their collaboration with libraries and other cultural institutions, and helping them to address contemporary challenges of globalization, European integration, and new media. The MeLA team wishes to find out experiences of collaborative projects between transnational museums, libraries and other cultural institutions, focusing on multiculturalism, migration and the use of new media. The geographic focus at this stage is on transnational and/or national partnerships within Europe and/or at extra-European level.

An online survey is available here . The results of this survey will contribute to the investigation on innovative coordination strategies between museums and other cultural institutions, which will be presented to the European Commission.

MeLA will give away three Amazon €50 gift vouchers to those who complete this MeLA project survey.

For questions about this survey or other remarks, please contact Perla Innocenti, University of Glasgow and leader of MeLA   (

For the SSN’s work on multiculturalism and migration, see the abstracts from our Multiple Belongings: Diaspora and Transnational Homes Conference (21/5/2010).

Leave a comment

Filed under Collaborative work

Down the Back of the Sofa

Derby Museum and Art Gallery has produced a 13-minute film of its recent Effective Collections-funded project Down the Back of the Sofa, which offers an insight into visitors’ reactions to the interactive exhibition. Down the Back of the Sofa was put together by the museum in partnership with the production company Charity Shop DJ for the Vintage at Southbank Centre festival in London’s Royal Festival Hall at the end of the July.

Around 9,000 people visited the exhibition, which saw the museum use mainly mid to late 20th century artefacts from its stored collection to recreate a vintage lounge and DJ space. The Museums Association (MA) helped facilitate the project with a £19,000 Effective Collections grant. The aim of the exhibition was to encourage interaction between people and artefacts in an informal environment.

Further information, including the evaluation of the project, is available here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Collaborative work, Exhibitions

Get connected in Brighton

Museums Association Annual Conference and Exhibition

3-4 October, Brighton Centre

Conference themes this year concentrate on how we can work collectively to survive the new austerity. Next Top Model looks at how we can reimagine museums, from new governance models to commissioning and smarter working. Innovation explores approaches to engaging audiences, raising extra cash and reinvigorating displays. Get Connected looks at how we make, create and sustain networks to link people who work in museums and those that visit them. The Get Connected strand is co-ordinated by Sally MacDonald, Director, UCL Museums & Collections.

Conference highlights include:

  • a session on Innovative historic house interpretation (Tuesday 4 October) where speakers from Historic Royal Palaces, National Trust and the Royal Pavilion will discuss new ways of bringing historic buildings to life
  • Get connected – what you give is what you get – making professional networks work, a session exploring the evolution of networks, looking at success stories and giving advice on improving existing networks
  • From Russia with… will look at collaborations and partnerships through the case study of the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow

Early bird rates apply to bookings before 31 July.

Leave a comment

Filed under Collaborative work, Conferences, CPD opportunity, Events, Knowledge Exchange