Upcoming Conference: The Body in the Museum

This spring, the Museum of London will host an innovative and timely look at developments in the display of dress, and the evolution of mannequins as surrogate bodies for exhibiting historic dress. It is to be titled: New Approaches to the Display of Dress. I’ll be attending the conference and reporting for Worn Through, but I hope to see those of you in the London area there this March!

Below is the conference announcement by Senior Curator of Dress and Decorative Arts, Beatrice Behlen.

In May 2010 The Museum of London launched the Galleries of Modern London. Two curators, four conservators (some part-time) and many volunteers helped putting the 70 outfits on mannequins which took the best part of two years. Other permanent displays of dress opened or relaunched at a similar time, such as the Gallery of Costume in Manchester and the Fashion & Textile Gallery at The Bowes Museum and temporary dress exhibitions are probably more frequent and popular as ever before.

We thought this would be a good time to bring together speakers from a variety of backgrounds to share their experiences with different types of dress supports. We will look at materials to use and avoid for short-term exhibitions and permanent displays; the different ways of making ‘cut-out’ mannequins including the Body-Thèque – a collection of historic body shapes; how to create character and movement; the reasons behind the use of full-figure mannequins and the advantages and potential issues when working with artists and designers. To put it all into context the day will begin with an exploration of the history of ‘the body in the museum’.

The conference is aimed at curators, conservators, designers and project managers involved in the display of dress. You should come away with a better understanding of how best to tailor your display methods to the ‘look’ you are trying to achieve, your time and your budget. You will also have the opportunity to see more than 60 outfits and 250 accessories displayed in the new Galleries of Modern London.

Download the conference programme here.

Download speaker profiles and abstracts here.

Scheduled for Saturday, March, 17; £40

To book, please call +44 20 7001 9844

View of the Pleasure Garden installation at the Museum of London with metal hairpieces by Yasemen Hussein. Photo courtesy of Museum of London.

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