Tag Archives: archive

Announcement | Jocelyn Herbert Post Doctoral Research Fellow

The University of the Arts London and the National Theatre Archive are proud to announce the appointment of post doctoral research fellow Dr Eleanor Margolies. This unique collaboration between the National Theatre and UAL, supported by the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation, will support the NT in expanding the reach of the Jocelyn Herbert Archive, which is now housed in the NT’s Archive, to the widest possible audience. Workshops, visits and talks will encompass schools, colleges and the general public raising the profile of theatre design and the crucial role designers play in the production process.

Dr. Margolies whose recent publication PROPS, part of the Palgrave Readings in Theatre Practice Series, is an important point of reference for students and researchers will be working with Erin Lee, Archivist at the National Theatre and Professors Eileen Hogan and Jane Collins at UAL.

In addition to the outreach work, Dr Margolies will also be conducting her own research in the Jocelyn Herbert Archive looking at the legacy of this important 20thcentury designer for 21st century practice. This fellowship consolidates the close links already established between the National Theatre and UAL through events like the Jocelyn Herbert Lecture Series, the annual involvement of MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea with the archive and two weeks of intensive research by BA Theatre Design students from Wimbledon College of Arts.

 

Call for Papers | Materiality and the Visual Arts Archive: Matter and Meaning

 

23rd September 2016, University of Brighton

Keynote speaker: Professor Maryanne Dever University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

 

“On the one hand… material is discussed today in the light of an idea that it has been dissolved by the so-called immaterialities of new technologies, while on the other – from the margins – we can observe the consolidation of material as a category of its own.”

(Monika Wagner)

Proposals are invited for papers to be delivered at a symposium on materiality in art and design archives, to be held at the University of Brighton on 23 September 2016. The symposium is organised by the Committee for Art and Design Archives, part of ARLIS/UK & Ireland (Art Libraries Society).

Within the expanding digital environment that encompasses our professional and personal experience, ideas of materiality have received extensive recent attention, across a range of disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, art history, literary studies and material culture.  As yet, archival theory and practice have given limited consideration to materiality as an approach to the archive. Conservation practices, while focussing on material qualities of archives, may not attend to more philosophical implications beyond technical research. This symposium seeks to reach across and between these various bodies of knowledge, considering materiality as a framework for analysing, interpreting and engaging with archives of art and design.

Papers of 25 minutes in length may cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Theories of materiality as applied to specifically archival contexts
  • The implications of digitisation on the materiality of archives: authenticity and the ‘original’
  • The materiality of born-digital archives
  • The ethics of material intervention through preservation and conservation
  • Contextual materiality – physical characteristics as a source of contextual and provenancial information.
  • Evidentiary materiality – deterioration and change as historical evidence

Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and a biography of up to 200 words by 20 April 2016 to [email protected]. Once the deadline has passed, submissions will be considered by the committee and candidates will be notified whether their paper has been selected by the end of May.

For up to date information on forthcoming workshops and free visits please see the online ARLIS/UK & Ireland Events Calendar 2013 at http://arlis.org.uk/

The Jocelyn Herbert Archive

On Monday 16th February 2015 the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation hosted a reception to celebrate the move of the Jocelyn Herbert Archive to the National Theatre Archive in the NT Studio on The Cut. Speeches were by Sir Nicholas Hytner, Sir John Sorrell, Sandra Lousada and Professor Eileen Hogan- Director of the Jocelyn Herbert Archive. The Rootstein Hopkins Foundation which has supported the Jocelyn Herbert Archive during its time at Wimbledon College of Arts will continue to fund research relating to the collection now that her archive is housed at the National Theatre.

Jocelyn Herbert (1917 – 2003) was a seminal figure in postwar twentieth-century British theatre. Her approach altered the way directors and audiences came to view stage design and contributed to a fundamental shift in the relationship between writer, director and designer. The Jocelyn Herbert Archive is one of the most complete and extensive of the period, covering many world premieres of plays which have since come to be seen as twentieth century classics.  She wanted her archive to be used in a practical way by students and other researchers and made as accessible to them as possible. She had a long connection with the theatre department at Wimbledon College of Arts, was often called in as an external examiner or otherwise to advise the students, and in 2000 she received an honorary doctorate. In 2008 the archive moved to Wimbledon College of Art and was installed in a newly built, environmentally controlled room. This, together with the digitisation of all the drawings and the cataloguing of the archive was made possible by a substantial grant from the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation.

The archive consists of over 6,000 of Herbert’s drawings for set and costume designs spanning student work made at the London Theatre Studio in the late 1930s, to the notebook she was using on the day she died. It includes production photographs, notebooks relating to film and theatre and to personal life, sketchbooks, diaries and contact books, three-dimensional stage models, ground plans, research material, budgets invoices and Minutes relating to meetings, posters and programmes, scripts, moulds for masks, masks and puppet figures.  Herbert’s career was characterised by long collaborative relationships with directors, writers and actors, and her archive embraces a significant body of material and correspondence with figures such as Lindsay Anderson, Samuel Beckett, Tony Harrison, John Osborne, Tony Richardson, David Storey and Arnold Wesker. As well as her vital connection with the English Stage Company at the Royal Court theatre, she had an influential role at the National Theatre, designing many plays there and as a member of Lawrence Olivier’s Building Committee for Denys Lasdun’s National Theatre South Bank design.  Olivier’s letter asking Jocelyn to become the company’s resident designer (a role she declined) is among the correspondence relating to her relationship with the National.

From 2008 to 2014 the archive has been used by students and staff from Wimbledon College of Arts as an inspiration for re-enacting historical designs and as a catalyst for new work and exhibitions. It has also been the subject for graduate and doctoral research both within the UAL and externally. Collaborative relationships have been established with the University of Stirling, where Lindsay Anderson’s archive is held, University of Reading in relation to Samuel Beckett’s archive, the V & A, which holds the archive of the English Stage Company, the Archive of Performance in Greek and Roman Drama at the University of Oxford and, most importantly, the National Theatre, host for the Jocelyn Herbert Lectures, first given in 2010 by Richard Eyre and funded by the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation for ten years. This lecture series is designed to increase public awareness of a largely invisible discipline within an otherwise closely monitored activity. Other lecturers so far have been the designer ULTZ and the playwright Christopher Hampton.

In 2014 an exciting collaboration was established between UAL and the National Theatre, whereby the National Theatre has become the new home for the archive. This coincides with far-reaching developments at the National which put design and education at the heart of the theatre. The move provides improved access for all students, and annual internships for CCW’s (Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Art) MA Theatre Design and Curating and Collections courses. New PhD and post-doctoral work will be funded by the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation.  A CCW research project to create new work inspired by Herbert’s archive will start in 2015. Wimbledon Space is currently exhibiting Work From the Collections #3: Jocelyn Herbert and Samuel Beckett, curated by students from Chelsea’s MA Curating & Collections course.

Top image: Erin Lee talking to colleagues about the Jocelyn Herbert Archive in the National Theatre Context. Photo by Karen DiFranco.