‘…providing a new perspective and a deeper understanding of the decorative arts…’

Posted by Claire Percy, Senior Marketing Executive

‘…providing a new perspective and a deeper understanding of the decorative arts…’

is how BBC Four Controller Richard Klein describes the newly announced collaboration between the BBC and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

From autumn 2011, Handmade in Britain will present three, three-part series and a selection of individual hour-long films focusing on a variety of art and design disciplines: ceramics, wood, metalwork, textiles, stained glass and paper. The programmes will follow the development of each of these media, unveiling stories that reveal the social, political and cultural climate of Britain at the time the objects were made. For example, two programmes on stained glass and Chinese porcelain will provide an important historical context to the story of the development of ceramics in Britain. The programmes will reveal how the craze for this imported medium played a significant role in the development of the British ceramics industry in the 18th century, and in the success of entrepreneurs such as Josiah Wedgwood.

The launch of Handmade in Britain ties in closely with the launch of Ashgate’s Histories of Material Culture and Collecting, 1700-1950 series which similarly gives objects historical context, examining how they contribute to both the formation of knowledge in the past, and to our understanding of the past today. Underpinning the series is the idea that the physical nature of objects contributes substantially to their social meanings, and therefore that the visual, tactile and sensual dimensions of objects are critical to their interpretation.

Ashgate Series Editor Michael Yonan says “The series seeks to illuminate the connections between material culture studies, art history, and the history of collecting. It encompasses material culture at its broadest, including the high arts of painting and sculpture, the decorative arts – furniture, ceramics, metalwork, etc – and everyday objects of all kinds”.

See more about Ashgate’s  Histories of Material Culture and Collecting series and read about how to  submit a proposal

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