I am pleased to announce that the UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre will soon be launching the public catalogue for the University’s Institutional Archive. At present the collection is available to browse in the ASCC, but researchers shortly will be able to use our online catalogue portal to search the collection under the reference code “UAL” and researchers will be able to request and access the records in the same way as the other collections we hold.
This month’s display at LCF Library showcases fashion illustration from our Special Collection. Fashion illustration in simple terms aims to communicate ideas about fashion, but the results are often works of art in themselves. Fashion illustration has numerous outlets such as magazine covers & stories, posters, cosmetic advertisements, lifestyle advertisements, entertainment products and more. LCF Special Collections holds fashion illustration related texts that date back to the early 1900s, so our display starts there and spans the decades up to the current day.
The technical fundamentals of image construction and drawing are covered by texts that outline the practicalities of fashion illustration. Mabel L Hall’s Fashion Drawing and Dress Design (1928) contains beautiful black and red illustration plates outlining anatomy, proportions and poses. Following on in chronological order, Shorthand Fashion Sketching by Patricia L Rowe (1960) demonstrates a rich illustration vocabulary of draping from blouses, necklines, collars, sleeves, skirts, hemlines, hats to coats. The book aims to teach “in the quickest possible time, by the shortest possible method, how to sketch fashions in the most practical way.” Fashion Drawing by John Ireland (1979) responds to varying silhouettes, textures and fabrics as well as demonstrating Ireland’s confident flair for design. These books show the most efficient and accurate ways to execute fashion drawings.
Examples of fully realised drawings are shown in David Downton’s tome Masters of Fashion Illustration (2010) which presents a history of fashion illustration. Leading fashion illustrator Downton selects outstanding artworks by illustrators from the 20th century as well as including a portfolio of his own celebrated works. Fashion Drawings in Vogue by William Packer showcases the work of Carl Erickson, an artist whose work was prominently featured in magazines throughout the 1940s and 1950s. This monograph concentrates on his illustration for Vogue during the war, which undoubtedly influenced fashion and therefore fashion illustration during this period. The most contemporary compendium of fashion illustration in our display comes from The Age of Feminine Drawing from the beginning of the 21st century. It holds numerous examples of fashion illustration from diverse artists specifically focusing on the female form. The book aims to demonstrate “how and why illustration in fashion has made an amazing comeback. Having virtually reached saturation point, photography is no longer the all-powerful medium of creativity, and has once again given way to the age old art of drawing. 
 Patricia L Rowe, Shorthand fashion sketching (New York: Fairchild Publications 1960)
 Federico Gallo, The Age of Feminine Drawing (Hong Kong: AllRightsReserved 2007)
Film director Martin Scorsese has described 1941 film The Next of Kin as a “fascinating picture” for the “degree to which it sticks to its guns just following the procedures and the transmission of information. It sticks so closely to its purpose, following the information and showing the effects of leaks”.
On Tuesday 14th of March we are holding a screening of the Next of Kin preceded by a short introduction by Gareth Thompson of LCC who will present a summary of a recently published paper on the film based on archival research in the Thorold Dickinson Collection at UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre. Archives staff will be on hand before and after the screening to introduce and show historical documents relating to the film.
Please reserve a place via email to: email@example.com
Image Credit: Imperial War Museum and Ealing Studios
For the third consecutive year, the three CCW libraries host parallel exhibitions under the common banner of ‘In house’ during the second half of the Spring Term. ‘In House: staff and student work from our collections’ presents three exhibitions this year, between 20 February and 11 March 2017: ‘Two decades of MA Book Arts at Camberwell’ at Chelsea College of Arts Library, ‘From A to Z: the Art Ephemera Collection’ at Wimbledon College of Arts Library, and ‘At work: photographs of students in and out of the studio (1900-1960s)’ at Camberwell College of Arts Library.
Installation view, Chelsea
The exhibitions, curated by Jan Morgan and Gustavo Grandal Montero, highlight special collections material related to staff and students from one college, to be displayed at another: the display at Chelsea focuses on archival material from the College Archive, Camberwell College of Arts Library, a selection of experimental degree show catalogues, invitations, cards and other material produced by the students of the MA Book Arts course at Camberwell, the oldest specialist postgraduate degree in the UK on its subject, established 21 years ago in 1996.
Installation view and detail, Chelsea
The display at Wimbledon highlights the Art Ephemera Collection, part of the Special Collections at Chelsea College of Arts. The collection includes a large range of printed items such as clippings, press releases, reviews, private view cards, artists’ statements, CVs, invitations, correspondence and posters relating to artists and galleries. It is constantly being added to and is a source of information on new and lesser known artists, and the gallery scene in the UK, from 1950 to date. It is primarily comprised of British ephemera, with a small selection of international material. London-based artists and galleries are particularly well represented, and Chelsea College of Arts staff, students and alumni are pro-actively collected. Current size of the collection is approximately 30 linear metres, with many thousands of individual artists represented, of which ca. 700 are listed (those with more than 5 items of ephemera). Collected as primary sources of information (images and historical data), in many cases the sole existing ones, they are also valuable as artefacts, for their material qualities, and often used as such in exhibitions.
Two specific files have been selected for this display: the Roger Ackling Ephemera File of printed ephemera related to Ackling (b. 1947, London, d. 2014), artist and teacher at Chelsea College of Arts from the early 80s until 2012; and the ‘Z’ Miscellaneous Ephemera File, uncatalogued printed ephemera by artists whose surname starts with this letter (and with less than 5 items in the collection).
Installation detail, Wimbledon
The third CCW libraries parallel exhibition, held at Camberwell, consists in a selection of historical photographs from the Archive at Wimbledon College of Arts Library showing students at work in the studio and also out on location, between 1900-1960s, including: students painting Bible scenes at St Marks Church Wimbledon in the 1950s; students sculpting from the figure 1950s & 60s; a photograph of Freda Skinner 1964, Head of Sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art 1945-71; a drawing class for female students in 1904 (no live models were employed at this stage so the women had to draw from casts); Murals of the Dunkirk evacuation painted by students 1943-44 at the British Legion Hall, British Restaurant, Kingston Road Wimbledon; Wimbledon Children’s Public Library murals painted by students 1947-48.
Installation view and detail, Camberwell
Jan Morgan and Gustavo Grandal Montero
Image Credit: Jan Morgan and Gustavo Grandal Montero
Welcome to our 5th edition of Zinesters in LCF Special Collections, this month we feature Brianna Spencer, you can view her work Women Are Not Hairless Creatures in our zine collection. London College of Fashion Special Collections has an ever expanding fashion zine collection that encompasses gender, body politics, sociology of clothes, hair & makeup, queer theory and more.
Brianna Spencer, Carlsbad, CA
How long have you been making zines for?
I’ve been making zines for about two years now.
What do you like to create zines about?
I like to make zines about…everything. Making zines is like writing in a journal, it’s a form of expression for me. I make zines about skating burritos when I need a little more laughter in my life, about hair when I feel embarrassed about the people staring at my pits on the beach (and then I quickly realize…screw ‘em), about rude avocados when I just can’t stand seeing people live hateful lives, and about love after I realize that everyone has the capacity to feel something special for another, and sometimes I just make zines about dancing cactus, because I need a little prickly friend in my life.
What is your favourite zine/comic/book?
My favorite zine is by Nathaniel Russell, it’s called These Are the Ways in Which I’ve Tried to Tell You because it’s so simple, i t keeps me simple . My favorite comic is Flash, because it reminds me of my dad. My favorite book is George’s M arvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl, because…well that one I can’t explain, just read it and you’ll know.
Tell us a bit more about your creative process..
I draw whenever I can. I prefer to use a brush and ink, but if all i’ve got is a dirty, half-broken crayon, that’ll do. A lot of what I create is based on an emotion, or a need. I will sit down and draw women only speaking spanish because I miss my grandma. At the moment, I work in a very small corner of my bedroom which is incredibly unorganized, but the dream is to have my own studio (and magically inherit the organizational skills of an ant) however I do think that my unorganized
mess of a dresser/desk/dining room table helps maintain a little bit of grit in my life, which I wouldn’t want to live without.
What does it feel like to have your zine/s in the London College of Fashion Library’s Special Collections?
I feel so honored! I have never been in this kind of thing before, but it makes me feel very warm and fuzzy in a way I can’t really explain, but really like!
What influenced Women Are Not Hairless Creatures?
I grew up in a house where the women in my family could not leave the house without turning into naked mole-rats, I mean they had to be totally hairless, even that little fuzz on the tops of your toes was not allowed. I never wanted to be like that, but of course, when I reached that age I tried it all, shaving, waxing, lasering, pulling, you name it…I tried it. And then I started noticing all the negative rhetoric about hair. “Eww she has a huge muff”, and “God, does she even know what a bikini line is?” I realized that I was going to stop being controlled by hair, IT’S JUST HAIR! And many years later, after living a wonderful life keeping the hair I want when I want it, my sister turned twelve, and I wanted to make something that reminded her, hair does not control a woman! A woman controls her hair…if she wants to.
What’s one piece of advice would you give UAL students about zine making?
Just make zines about anything and everything! Nothing is too serious, or too simple to put in a few pages.
Our Archives and Special Collections Centre Manager Sarah Mahurter writes about her recent trip to Mexico City, where she joined other members of staff from UAL to deliver a symposium on the work and archive of Stanley Kubrick.
Eight members of UAL staff have recently returned from a highly successful trip to Mexico City. We were there at the invitation of the British Council, to deliver a symposium ‘Into the Archive: Reviewing Kubrick’ in association with the Stanley Kubrick travelling exhibition which is on display at Cineteca Nacional until 29th May 2017.
London College of Fashion Special Collections has an ever expanding fashion zine collection that encompasses gender, body politics, sociology of clothes, hair & makeup, queer theory and more. Our 4th installment of Zinesters in LCF Special Collections comes from Roechelle Adair, her zine Back to Nappy can be found in our zine collection.
Exposed: 11 Jan – 09 Feb 2017
|Taking a snapshot in time and place, Exposed brings together work by four mid-century designers who studied or taught at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (later Central Saint Martins). Print by Barbara Hanrahan, textiles by John Drummond, ceramics by William Newland and graphic design by Richard Hollis combine to reflect the changing styles and attitudes of post-war art and design. Alumni of the Central School of Art and Crafts contributed to the shaping of our contemporary world and this exhibition reveals the lineage of teacher and pupil that stretches across generations and throughout the College’s history. Barbara Hanrahan was taught by Gertrude Hermes and Blair Hughes-Stanton, William Newland by Dora Billington, John Drummond studied textiles under Dora Batty while graphic designer Richard Hollis, a student in the 1950s, later taught at the School alongside leading modernist typographer Anthony Froshaug. Exposed is kindly supported by G.F Smith.
Central Saint Martins
Granary Building, 1 Granary Square
King’s Cross London
The CSM Museum & Study Collection holds tens of thousands of objects including a historic teaching collection, work by staff, students and alumni, and archive material telling the story of the college. It is used for exhibitions, research and in teaching.
Explore the collection online: http://collections.arts.ac.uk
Before a piece from Central Saint Martin’s museum collection goes on public display there’s always work to be done behind the scenes. In the case of conservation, that work is often critical but invisible. Our historic teaching collections tell us about past design and culture, but seeing and handling these objects inspires creativity today. In preparation for the current exhibition Exposed: Highlighting Historic Collections in the CSM Museum, conservator (and Camberwell College of Art alumna) Chloe Mills focused on three damaged wallpaper drops from the CSM Museum.
This wallpaper was designed by John Drummond, a 1949 graduate of the then Central School of Arts and Crafts, now Central Saint Martins. In the decades that followed Drummond established a studio workshop producing designs for among others Cole & Son, Sanderson, Hull Traders Ltd, David Whitehead and Philip Graf. His designs from this period play with myths and legends of the classical world brought to life in almost monumental scale on wallpaper.
Wednesday 18th January saw the opening of ‘RECOLLECTION’ at the Old Big School Gallery, Tonbridge. This exhibition brings together 17 private collections, some being seen in public for the first time. One of the collectors featured is David Usborne, whose collection of tools is held at the University Archives and Special Collections Centre. Objects on display have been loaned from the Centre here at London College of Communication and Heatherwick Studio. David also contributed objects from his own home.
Other collections included in the exhibition contain classic vintage projectors, toys, masks, ceramics, stationery and Dr. Who memorabilia. The exhibition was curated by Emily Glass and is open weekends from 12-4pm until March 5th 2017.
By Georgia Clemson, ASCC Archives Assistant
Image Credit: Georgia Clemson