On Monday 23 May, art and dress historians from York met with material scientists from Manchester for an exploration of objects from the DMDA handling collection. It was a transformative experience! Our disciplines share the importance of informed looking. Indeed, ‘the material detectives’ changed our understanding of several objects.
One of many examples: the observation that a 1934 compact imitates shagreen through imaging/photography is radically novel. This establishes a direct link between a dress accessory of the past and our contemporary world in which we imitate marble, wood, or stone in tiles or laminate flooring through imaging techniques!
Natalie Raw, Curator of Costume and Textiles at Leeds Museums and Galleries; Louise Cooling, Curator of Collections and Interiors, Kenwood House, London; and M. Faye Prior, Collections Facilitator (History) at the Castle Museum, York, gave inspirational talks on their respective collections. We very much look forward to developing our collaborative partnership.