5 March 2020

Winter Lecture: Inglenooks and old curios – the origins and development of Folk Life collecting

Today we take it for granted that many of our museums contain Windsor chairs and china dogs, old kitchen utensils, horse brasses and farm and craft tools.

But in the late nineteenth century when interest in this type of material was first emerging, the idea caused hilarity in some circles and was lampooned in print.

This lecture explores how and why the study of this new area emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century and looks at some of the early pioneers – like the famous garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll – to understand what impelled them to turn ordinary everyday stuff into collectibles – and ultimately museum pieces.

The Arts & Crafts movement, nostalgic regret and even nationalism all played their part in fueling interest in material that came variously to be known as domestic bygones and folk life collections.

The lecture looks at some of the museums that owe their existence to this movement including Bristol’s own Blaise Museum.

Speaker: David Eveleigh, freelance curator and author

Entry to the winter lectures is on a first come basis so we recommend arriving 15 minutes before the advertised start time to be assured of a seat. Parking in the area can be difficult so you may want to allow extra time to find a space.

All Winter Lectures take place at:
Priory Road Lecture Theatre,
University of Bristol,
8 Woodland Road,

The 2019-20 Winter Lecture programme includes: