Zoë Hendon - The Silver Studio: a view from the Periphery
The Silver Studio was a commercial design studio which produced designs for wallpapers and textiles, and which operated from 1880 until the 1960s. When it closed, the contents of the Studio were given to the Hornsey College of Art, subsequently part of Middlesex University.
My research looks at the Silver Studio collection as a ‘cultural artefact’; that is, in the period since the late 1960s when it became part of an educational institution. I am not seeking to re-tell the story of the Silver Studio itself, but rather to look at the ways in which the collection has acquired meanings and uses since it ceased to be a working commercial studio. As curator of the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture, of which the Silver Studio collection forms a part, I am aware that my own role in this meaning-making cannot be separated from the narrative; and thus this is in part an auto-ethnographic reflection on my own curatorial practice.