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Dutch-themed exhibition ‘Journeys East’ in UCL Main Library now open

14 December 2012

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Stefanie van Gemert, PhD candidate and Teaching Assistant in the department, curated an exhibition (with accompanying digital display) for UCL Special Collections. The exhibition Journeys East is now on view in the Main Library until Feb 2013, on the landing between the newly reopened Flaxman Gallery and the Donaldson Reading Room.

It shows some beautiful 17th-century books alongside Delft-blue inspired community art work. The objects in Journeys East were used as part of a workshop programme (summer 2012) on Golden Age art and the Dutch East India Company. Stefanie developed and led the workshops, in partnership with the Wallace Collection, for community groups from across London. The programme incorporated UCL Library Special Collection objects and prints from the UCL Art Museum, and Dutch paintings at the Wallace Collection.

The history of colonialism sadly is a history of violence and exploitation. Through focusing on growing diversity in Dutch 17th-century society and its changing material culture and social relations, the workshops showed that other cultures were a big force behind the Dutch Golden Age. The sessions also allowed for participants’ reflection on personal stories of migration.

The ‘Delft blue’ art work in the exhibition was made by participants from West Hampstead Women’s Group, Aaina Women’s Group and West Ealing Deaf Women’s Minority Group, in response to the UCL workshops. Stefanie would like to thank Kulusm Bukhari, Mirgana Milacic Pierre, Shushi Patel,Nazima Kassim, Satwant Verma, Yasmin Khan, Rukhsana Sultani, Jyoti Patel and Una Beckeord for creating the beautiful vases and tiles.
She is also grateful for the support, time and enthusiasm received from the project partners: the Wallace Collection, UCL Art Museum and UCL Special Collections.

Page last modified on 14 dec 12 14:13 by Stefanie T W Van Gemert