Artists and artefacts: New exhibition uncovers secrets of museums
Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Communities
Museum - Michael Leigh
Stuffed creatures carrying fragile treasures, Victorian-esque “quizzing glasses” and a set of storytelling boxes of relics will feature in a museums-inspired art exhibition.
A group of seven artists from around the UK will exhibit work at Μουσείον: artists’ reflections on museums, an exhibition organised by PhD students at the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies.
The show, which will run from October 1 at the School on University Road, takes its name from the original ‘mouseion’ built in Alexandria, Egypt, over 2000 years ago.
The artists will explore the role and meanings of museum collections and the processes involved in the storage and display of museums’ artefacts.
The show has been curated by Alex Woodall, a PhD Researcher in the School, who has previously worked for Manchester Art Gallery, Museums Sheffield, Renaissance East Midlands and Kettle’s Yard gallery in Cambridge.
Alex, who is now based in Sheffield, said: “I’ve been lucky to work with some inspirational artists throughout my career. Many of them are intrigued by what goes on in museum stores. Many challenge the traditional voice of the museum curator. Instead of telling us what an object is, they invite us to imagine what an object could be. We are left to make up our own minds.
“Each of these artists invites us to look anew at museums, their objects, collections and processes. Times are tough for arts and museums, but it is this questioning spirit that makes them absolutely essential in reflecting on how and what we value. And in doing so, we are reflecting on ourselves and on our place within the world.”
Cy Shih, an exhibition planner and designer from Taiwan who is currently studying for a PhD at the School of Museum Studies, has designed the exhibition, and a team of PhD students will work as installation assistants.
Sandra Dudley, Director of Exhibitions and Collections in the School, added: “Our exhibition programme, a recent innovation for the School, provides our students with unique opportunities to develop experimental approaches to display, interpretation and design. We have been thrilled to see how Alex, Cy and the team have collaborated with artists to produce a remarkable exhibition of the highest quality.”
The exhibition will run from October 1 to March 1 at the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies, 19 University Road, Leicester. The exhibition will be open to the public and admission is free.
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