Lunchtime Seminar: Kate Forde, Wellcome Collection
Kate Forde, Curator of the Wellcome Collection
Thursday 24th November, 1 – 2pm, Augustus and Gwen John Suite, National Museum Cardiff
To book your place visit: http://beaconforwalesnovseminar.eventbrite.com/
This illustrated talk will explore Wellcome Collection’s approach to ‘public engagement’ by focusing on the development of the recent exhibition ‘Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life’. The presentation will consider Wellcome Collection’s commitment to interdisciplinary practice and discuss some of the challenges of curating science in a cultural context.
The ‘Dirt’ exhibition explored something that is all around us but that we are often reluctant to confront. Bringing together around 200 artefacts spanning visual art, documentary photography, cultural ephemera, scientific artefacts, film and literature, the exhibition uncovered a rich history of disgust and delight in the grimy truths and dirty secrets of our past, and pointed to the uncertain future of filth, something which poses a significant risk to our health but which is also vital to our existence.
Following anthropologist Mary Douglas's observation that dirt is 'matter out of place', the exhibition explored six very different locations in order to examine attitudes towards dirt and cleanliness: a home in 17th-century Delft in Holland, a street in Victorian London, a hospital in Glasgow in the 1860s, a museum in Dresden in the early 20th century, a community in present day New Delhi and a New York landfill site in 2030.
Highlights to be discussed include paintings by Pieter de Hooch, the earliest sketches of bacteria, John Snow's 'ghost map' of cholera, beautifully crafted delftware and Joseph Lister's scientific paraphernalia and a wide range of contemporary art, including a dust carpet, a bejewelled broom and a window cast in dirt.
For further information: http://www.wellcomecollection.org/whats-on/exhibitions/dirt.aspx
This seminar is free to attend
Tea and Coffee will be served following the seminar
Kate Forde is Curator of Temporary Exhibitions at Wellcome Collection, London. Recently she has worked on exhibitions examining the mysteries of sleep, the relationship between war and medicine, and the history of anatomical waxworks. Kate is particularly interested in the display of fine art within scientific institutions and the role museums have to play in the shaping of cultural memory. Previously she has worked for art institutions including the Royal College of Art, Tate and the Metropolitan Museum, New York.