I am delighted to have had the opportunity to work with a number of institutions, especially examining ways of making coins visually accessible so that their fascinating stories can emerge. Working with objects and thinking about different ways to tell stories keeps me coming back to exhibition design, so this is only the list so far:
‘Objects in the Spotlight’ is a current exhibition showcasing items from the Hart bequest and looking at the life and interests of this quiet, enigmatic early twentieth-century donor to the museum. Within it, one case is dedicated to Hart’s coin collection and tries to uncover the personal, as well as intellectual, relationship that Hart had with the items he collected.
‘The Lost Box’ was staged as part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Lost in Translation’, which brought together researchers to examine how their work might interface with the world of museums and collection curation. This was an experimental exhibition based on an archive of images kept at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham. A discussion of the exhibition, and accompanying images, can be found here. The images, from the archive of David Talbot-Rice, are also available through the Birmingham East Mediterranean Archive that I manage with my friend and colleague, Daniel Reynolds.
21st May-25th September 2015
‘Faith and Fortune‘, co-curated with Dr Ali Miynat. This was a ‘re-boot’ of the exhibition, Faith and Fortune, previously based at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts (see below). To take a substantially numismatic exhibition on the road we used full-colour cutouts of the coins on the integrated design boards that had been created for the original exhibition.
‘Experiencing Images’ was part of the 2014 ‘Being Human’ Festival of the Humanities. It was co-curated with fellow members of the Bilderfahrzeuge research group, and coordinated with Dr Johannes von Müller. A discussion of the exhibition and images of it can found here.
8th November 2013-30th November 2014
‘Faith and Fortune: visualising the divine on Byzantine and early Islamic coinage‘, co-curated with Dr Daniel Reynolds, Dr Ali Miynat and Dr Maria Vrij (though none of us were Drs then!). This was my first experience of exhibition curation and, with the support of Robert Wenley and Nicola Kalinsky at the Barber Institute, we were given remarkable freedom to experiment with realising a research agenda in a museum setting. We explored through the exhibition the rivalries and dialogues that linked Christian and Islamic imagery on coins in the Eastern Mediterranean in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Maria has since gone on to become Curator of the Coin Collection at the Barber Institute, and I strongly encourage you to check out the rolling exhibitions she now curates, which continue to integrate fantastic material and exciting research.