"More than 75,000 intricate lace samples, considered to be of national and international importance, have been placed in a new archive at Nottingham Trent University. The collection - acquired by the university and its forerunners over many years through bequests from lace manufacturers and the lace federation - features many significant items, including some which date back to the 1600s. ...
A new steering group has been formed to support the collection, featuring a range of key academic experts as well as leading figures in lace and museology from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and The Bowes Museum in County Durham. The group will work to link the archive to other significant collections and will be responsible for future exhibitions, research opportunities and promoting and maintaining the relationship between Nottingham and the lace industry.
The majority of donations to the university's collection were made from the late 19th to the mid-20th Centuries and include single pieces, such as cuffs, bonnets and collars; garments and garment panels. There are items in manufacturers' sample books, photographs of lace from a breadth of sources and collections, and portfolios of machine-made lace. The collection not only includes British designs but also portfolios of lace from Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Russia.
The collection is regularly studied and researched by representatives from The Lace Guild, various lace and textile organisations, academic experts and undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Dr Amanda Briggs-Goode, programme leader for Textile Design in Nottingham Trent University's School of Art and Design, said: 'It is important for us to conserve and understand the industrial, social and design heritage that this collection brings, and having an official archive space is the ideal way to achieve this. To date, access to the collection has been limited, but this will help us to form the basis of a professional archive which charts the history of Nottingham lace. ...
A project to pilot a database and make key parts of the lace collection web-accessible has also been recently completed, following funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council."
(Katy Cowan, 4 February 2010, Creative Boom magazine)
"Still-life painting came to be very widely practised in Holland during the seventeenth century. With brilliant mastery of the methods of painting the artists convincingly reproduced the beauty of objects which surround us in our daily lives. Examples include the Breakfast paintings of Willem Claesz Heda (1594-1680/82) and Pieter Claesz (1596/97-1661), and Dessert by Willem Kalf (1622-1693)."
"Dutch artist Theo Jansen has been working for 16 years to create sculptures that move on their own in eerily lifelike ways. Each generation of his "Strandbeests" is subject to the forces of evolution, with successful forms moving forward into new designs. Jansen's vision and long-term commitment to his wooden menagerie is as fascinating to observe as the beasts themselves.
His newest creatures walk without assistance on the beaches of Holland, powered by wind, captured by gossamer wings that flap and pump air into old lemonade bottles that in turn power the creatures' many plastic spindly legs. The walking sculptures look alive as they move, each leg articulating in such a way that the body is steady and level. They even incorporate primitive logic gates that are used to reverse the machine's direction if it senses dangerous water or loose sand where it might get stuck."