Press Releases 2006-07

Date Title
10 July 2007 "Here's one I made earlier..." vintage dress patterns go online
22 June 2007 Portraits of a Nation
14 June 2007 Why Me? Artist's Use of Self Image
4 June 2007 Building Britain
11 April 2007 Non-stop Live Art
3 April 2007 'A Map of Latin American Dreams'
7 March 2007 The architects who shaped Scotland
22 February 2007 Windows on the World
18 October 2006 The diverse correspondence of the 'father of photography'
25 September 2006 Hechle and de Trey: from Public Museum to Private Studio
18 September 2006 Lucie Rie Archive launched online
23 August 2006 Pillars and Patterns, Angels and Demons
9 August 2006 DIGitise FOR VICTORY!

"Here's one I made earlier..." vintage dress patterns go online

Vogue, 1957

A collection of home dressmaking patterns from the London College of Fashion is now available online at VADS. This new resource shows the changing fashions of the past century, from flapper fashions of the roaring twenties, to 1950s Dior-inspired dresses, with that famous hourglass shape and cinched-in waist, to funky flares from the era of disco.

The collection has accumulated over the years until it numbers some 800 dating from the 1920s to the present day. The patterns provide information about the history of fashion, the cascade of couture down to everyday wear and the culturally significant phenomena of home dressmaking in Europe and America.

The collection includes designs by leading fashion designers such as Laroche, Givenchy, and Christian Dior, and includes patterns published by Vogue, Butterick and Woman's Weekly, amongst others.

For more information about the collection visit:
http://www.vads.ac.uk/collections/LCFPP.html

VADS also provides access to the London College of Fashion's Woolmark Collection, Cordwainer's Shoe Collection, and the College Archives. To search all our fashion collections visit: http://vads.ac.uk

Portraits of a nation

Portrait of George III, studio of Allan Ramsay, 1762-1765

Oxford University's collection of portraits includes unique images of individuals from all walks of life including British and foreign monarchs, leaders of nations, scientists, writers, scholars and artists, who have shaped the history of the nation both from within these shores and in the world at large.

Now, for the first time, you can see a number of images from this unique collection online.

Portraits from the Examination Schools and Pembroke College have been digitized and catalogued as part of a one-year pilot project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and a selection of these portraits are now available on open access at VADS: http://www.vads.ac.uk/collections/OP.html

Dating from c.1450 to the present day, the collection includes paintings, drawings, sculpture, medals and photographs by celebrated artists and others of regional significance. Second in size only to the National Portrait Gallery's collection, which is the largest collection of portraits in the world, Oxford University's portrait collection complements that held in the National Portrait Gallery and is of world-wide interest and significance. Ultimately, the project aims to publish a catalogue of portraits throughout the University of Oxford and all its constituent colleges.

Why Me? Artist's Use of Self Image

Collaboration between Artist Anne Seagrave and Photographer Manuel Vason 2005

WHY ME? ARTIST'S USE OF SELF IMAGE is a new research database available from VADS.

The database contains the names of over 340 artists worldwide who feature their own physical presence within the artworks they present. The database was constructed in 2007 by Anne Seagrave, artist and AHRC Fellow with the Research Institute, School of Art and Design, University of Ulster in Belfast.

The database is a unique resource for researchers and the arts world. As Seagrave explains, "there's only a very small amount of reference material covering artists' use of self-image. You can find some information about self-portraiture in painting and photography and a fairly small amount dealing with live art, but there's nothing that links different artists who choose to use self-image. More importantly, there is an enormous amount of creative contribution out there which is not represented in the glossy magazines and publications found in galleries and art school libraries."

For more information and to access the database visit: http://www.vads.ac.uk/resources/WMASI.html

Building Britain

Interior of Chester Cathedral

Romanesque sculpture pervades buildings throughout Britain and Ireland. From simple geometric patterns to nightmarish heads of birds, beasts and monsters - the remains can be found in parish churches, cathedrals, houses, halls, castles and museums throughout the British Isles.

We are pleased to announce that a further 5000 images from the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland (CRSBI) are now available online at VADS. This latest addition brings the total number of digital images available from the CRSBI to almost 19,000 images.

The CRSBI project aims to photograph and record all surviving British and Irish Romanesque sculpture, making this important part of our heritage available over the Internet. A team of skilled and dedicated volunteer fieldworkers locates and visits sites where Romanesque sculpture survives, describing, measuring and taking photographs.

This latest collection include images from the magnificent Ely Cathedral, Chester Cathdral, St Albans Cathedral and Peterborough Cathedral, as well as churches and buildings throughout the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Huntington, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and Sussex.

For more information on CRSBI visit: http://vads.ac.uk/collections/CRSBI.html

Non-Stop Live Art

'Lie to Lay', 120 hour performance and installation by Alastair MacLennan, 2-7 March 1986

We are pleased to announce that the website of Alastair MacLennan, one of Britain's major practitioners in live art, is now available online via VADS: http://www.vads.ac.uk/resources/maclennan/

Alastair MacLennan is Research Professor in Fine Art at the School of Art and Design, University of Ulster in Belfast. Since 1975 he has been based in Belfast and was a founder member of Belfast's Art and Research Exchange. He is also a member of the European Performance Group called 'Black Market International.'

During the 1970's and 1980's, he made long durational performances in Britain and America, of up to 144 hours each, non-stop, usually neither eating nor sleeping throughout. Subject matter dealt with political, social and cultural malfunction. He currently travels extensively in Eastern and Western Europe, also America and Canada, presenting ‘Actuations' (his term for performance/installations).

The Alastair MacLennan website is one of a number of live art resources that have recently been acquired by the AHDS, including the world-class Live Art Archive and Digital Performance Archive. For more information and to access these resources visit: http://www.ahds.ac.uk/performingarts/liveart.htm

'A Map of Latin American Dreams'

Idol with Doll, Nadín Ospina, 2000

We are pleased to announce that a stunning collection of 20th and 21st century Latin American art is now available to view online at VADS.

This latest addition to the VADS image catalogue is from the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art (UECLAA), which is the only public collection in Europe dedicated exclusively to modern and contemporary art from Latin America. The collection was founded in 1993 and has since grown to more than 600 works through the generosity of many donors, artists, supporters and friends.

The collection reflects the great diversity of Latin American art. To give you a taster, there are: abstract prints by Alex Gama; surrealist assemblages by Jorge Luis Macchi; photographic portraits from Martín Weber's series 'A Map of Latin American Dreams'; and Nadín Ospina's stone idols recreated in the form of modern icons such as Mickey Mouse. The holdings include paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, video pieces, installations, works in wood, ceramic and textile, as well as major pieces of public sculpture.

The online resource was produced by the University of Essex's Department of Art History and Theory, with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The artworks are comprehensively catalogued, with texts written by experts in the field; statements solicited from many of the living artists; and a glossary of related movements and themes.

For more information and to access the collection visit: http://vads.ac.uk/collections/UECLAA.html

The architects who shaped Scotland

The Dictionary of Scottish Architects is a new online resource that provides biographical information and job lists for all architects known to have worked in Scotland during the period 1840-1940. No other country in Europe can boast such a historical database of its architects.

The dictionary caters to many different users, from planning officers and architectural historians, to family historians and genealogists, as well as home-owners wanting information about the buildings they live in. The database is freely available to anyone who has access to the internet.

The online dictionary is the outcome of a three-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and led by David Walker, Emeritus Professor in the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews. The origins of the project date back to Walker's student days in Dundee when he began to record information about Scottish architects. Walker continued this process in his spare time throughout his working life.

The dictionary not only contains a description of the facts, but because some of the information was handed down by word of mouth, the biographies of the architects and practices are spiced with humorous details and personal touches. They make good reading, with ambition, tax evasion, personality conflicts, dismissals, infidelities and sheer bad luck all playing their part in the stories.

The Dictionary of Scottish Architects is now preserved through VADS. For more information and to access the database visit: http://www.vads.ac.uk/resources/DSA.html

Windows on the World

Norwich, St Peter Mancroft, east window: Massacre of the Holy Innocents

Stained glass has historically been the Cinderella of the medieval arts, largely because the material is so little known. Yet during the Middle Ages it was a highly prestigious vehicle for a wide variety of images, brightly coloured and brilliantly lit, as the famous surviving examples in York Minster, Canterbury Cathedral or King's College Chapel in Cambridge still show today.

Following a major digitisation project many of the surviving examples of medieval stained glass in Great Britain are now available to view online. Over 15,000 digitised photographs from the archive of the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA) have been added to the VADS image catalogue.

The Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA), or the survey of medieval stained glass, was founded in 1949 as an international research project which aims to publish everything that survives. The CVMA has committees in 14 countries and over 65 printed volumes have been published so far. In Great Britain, the CVMA is a British Academy research project hosted by the Courtauld Institute of Art. The photographic archive of the CVMA is housed at the public archive of English Heritage, the National Monuments Record, and a large proportion of the archive has now been digitised and made available online with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

With the addition of the CVMA collection, the number of digital images available via VADS now totals around 80,000 images. The images of medieval stained glass can now be cross-searched with other related collections, such as the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland (CRSBI) and the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association's (PMSA) National Recording Project. These high quality digital images are all freely available for use in research, learning and teaching.

For more information about the CVMA see: http://www.vads.ac.uk/collections/CVMA.html

The diverse correspondence of the 'father of photography'

Portrait of William Henry Fox Talbot by Antoine Claudet

The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot is a comprehensive and growing searchable online edition of the nearly 10,000 known letters to and from Talbot (1800-1877), the Wiltshire polymath most closely identified with his invention of photography.

Talbot's correspondents were a diverse lot. Counted amongst his closest associates were Sir John Herschel, an astronomer and ingenious inventor of photography; Thomas Moore, the wildly popular Irish poet, who provided a different perspective on the new art of photography; New York's Edward Anthony and Philadelphia's Langenheim brothers, important figures in the establishment of the American photographic industry; and Rev. Calvert R. Jones, a Welsh marine painter, who strove to get photography accepted in artistic circles. Everyday human factors, such as his state of health and the vagaries of the weather, are also recorded in Henry Talbot's correspondence with his family and can be seen to markedly influence his course of invention and publication.

The present project builds on thirty years of efforts by the project director, Professor Larry J Schaaf, during which time several books have been published. Support and funding have been received from, amongst others, Glasgow University, De Montfort University, the British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. This is now a totally web-based project, and will be preserved through VADS

For more information and to access the collection: http://vads.ac.uk/resources/CWHFT.html

Hechle and de Trey: from Public Museum to Private Studio

Dark brown soup bowl, Marianne de Trey, 1949-57

VADS and the Crafts Study Centre are pleased to announce the launch of two new online collections, documenting the recent gifts of works to the Centre by the calligrapher Ann Hechle and the potter Marianne de Trey.

This material has been digitised as part of a short-term research project, funded by the independent charity the Headley Trust. The project builds on the work of a three-year digitisation project already carried out at the Centre, which made a significant proportion of the CSC collections available over the Internet.

Ann Hechle is a British calligrapher of considerable reputation who has been working since the 1960s. In many ways her career bridges the Arts and Crafts revival at the end of the 19th century and the contemporary craft informed by art and graphic design. In 2004 she gave a wide range of her work to the Centre. Marianne de Trey has been potting on the Dartington Estate in Devon since 1948 and ran a successful production pottery for 3 decades before she retired to make more personal work. In 2005 she donated a selection of pots to the CSC from throughout her career, along with some early work from her studies in printed textiles.

The Headley Trust Project has been exceptional in documenting additional items that relate to and illuminate the donated work but which remain in the maker's own possession. Items such as drafts, sketches and technical trials by Hechle have now been virtually brought into the CSC's remit, and these items enrich our understanding of the context and creation of the finished works physically held at the Centre.

This improved access to the objects is enhanced by two new illustrated Web essays on Hechle and de Trey by Sophie Heath, providing an overview of their careers and a guide to the works in the collection. To access the essays and for more information about the Crafts Study Centre collections see: http://www.vads.ac.uk/collections/CSC.html

Lucie Rie Archive launched online

Black and white photograph of Lucie Rie

VADS and the Crafts Study Centre are pleased to announce the launch of a new online collection, including over 600 items from the Lucie Rie Archive. Items from the archive can now be viewed and searched on the Internet with full catalogue details. This improved access to the objects is enhanced by a new illustrated Web essay which provides a guide to the Archive and an overview of Lucie Rie's career, by Sophie Heath.

The Viennese potter Lucie Rie (1902-95) came to England as an émigré in 1938 and after the war built up a successful career hand-making domestic and aesthetic ceramics. Rie's work is widely admired for its independent and modern style and she was hugely influential for British studio pottery. The Crafts Study Centre possesses a good selection of her ceramics, but of outstanding importance is the very substantial documentary archive comprising of more than 10,000 items, including order books, correspondence, photographs, exhibition ephemera, and financial records.

The archive has been surveyed as part of a short-term research project, funded by the independent charity the Headley Trust. Its aim is to utilise the Internet to both widen public access to the Centre's collections and to encourage their use as a resource for the study and interpretation of craft. The project builds on a three-year digitisation project already carried out at the CSC, which made a significant proportion of the core collections available over the Internet.

The Lucie Rie essay is one of a number of learning resources available from VADS, offered free of charge and copyright cleared to the UK visual arts education community. To access the Lucie Rie essay, visit: http://vads.ac.uk/learning/csc/rie/essay.html

For more information about the Crafts Study Centre collections see: http://www.vads.ac.uk/collections/CSC.html

Pillars and Patterns, Angels and Demons

A grotesque corbel in the South porch of St Kyneburgha's Church, Castor, Huntington, UK

Romanesque stone sculpture pervades buildings throughout Britain and Ireland. Carvings of human figures, animals, monsters, grotesques, religious motifs, geometric patterns, foliage and other adornment from the 11th and 12th centuries can be found in parish churches and cathedrals, houses and halls, and castles and museums, throughout the British Isles. Romanesque sculpture marked a highpoint in artistic production, corresponding to the boom in high-quality building that followed the Norman Conquest, and reflecting a new set of links with mainland Europe.

We are pleased to announce that a further 3000 images from the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland (CRSBI) are now available online via VADS. This latest addition brings the total number of digital images available from the CRSBI to over 14,000 images.

The aim of the CRSBI project is to photograph and record all surviving British and Irish Romanesque sculpture, making this important part of our heritage available over the Internet. A team of skilled and dedicated volunteer fieldworkers locates and visits sites where Romanesque sculpture survives, describing, measuring and taking photographs.

This latest addition from the CRSBI includes records of Romanesque sculpture in Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Suffolk, East and West Riding of Yorkshire, and Tipperary and Roscommon in the Republic of Ireland.

For more information on CRSBI please go to: http://vads.ac.uk/collections/CRSBI.html

DIGitise FOR VICTORY!

Dig for Victory, Second World War Poster

Millions of posters were distributed during wartime Britain to influence public opinion and many of the designs are still famous to this day. Just think of the slogans 'Dig for Victory', 'Careless Talk Costs Lives', and 'Walls Have Ears', and the pointing finger of Kitchener with the strapline 'Your Country Needs You'.

We are pleased to announce that another 4000 posters from the Imperial War Museum poster collection are now available online via VADS. This latest addition brings the total number of digital images available from the Imperial War Museum Posters of Conflict collection to over 7000 images.

The Imperial War Museum's poster collection is the largest and most comprehensive of its type in Great Britain, documenting the social, political, ethnic and cultural aspirations of various nations, from the First World War to more recent conflicts. The collection is an essential resource for looking at the development of mass communication, propaganda, publicity, commercial art and graphic design.

The posters have been digitised, catalogued, and published online as part of the Posters of Conflict project, a joint venture between the Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation Design (MIRIAD) at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Art Department at the Imperial War Museum. The project obtained funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and ran for three years, completing in May 2006.

A major poster exhibition is also due to take place at the Imperial War Museum in London in September 2007. The IWM is working in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University and the exhibition will be the first major show in over 30 years dedicated entirely to the poster collection.

The Posters of Conflict collection can be searched and browsed at: http://vads.ac.uk/collections/IWMPC.html

 

 

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