A Look Back at the Herbert 50th Display

Some amazing objects held in the Herbert could be seen in two display cases in the covered court by the shop during 2010. What were they? Well they were 50 objects (one per week), each choice had been accessioned in one of the 50 years the Herbert has been open. They were all chosen by people who had worked with the Herbert in the past to celebrate our 50th anniversary.

Herbert 50th Display Cases

They ranged from paintings and prints to stuffed birds and toys but all were relevant to the person who selected them for many different reasons. Some of those that stand out in my mind are below for your enjoyment.

Rhino Beetles (1974 choice) were great with long projections that look like horns. Everyone shudders at creepy crawly insects. A card game called ‘The Pit’ (1975 choice) was simple to spread out and display. Toy and games were popular choices reminding everyone of their own childhood.

A red throated diver (1976 choice) was an interesting one and led to new bases being made for some of them for display. Shoes were a very popular subject choice but for the year 1987 a pair of child’s red shoes sat next to a pair of ladies court shoes.

Ladies knickers were an unusual choice for 1997 but the poem accompanying them is hilarious following an appeal by the Herbert as at the time we had few in the collections.

We had some 'Quackers' objects!

Bayko (1998 choice) was a fun choice where I had to build one of the buildings pictured on the construction set leaflet. It’s a hard job sometimes being a curator but someone has to do it!

This was an unusual project that resulted in many different objects being on display for just a week. The quick case change-overs and new labels were a challenge but a fun one involving all aspects of a curator’s job from research through to photography and text writing. This has been something I was very glad to be a part of given how special the Herbert’s collections are.

Paul Thompson

Keeper of Collections (Archaeology & Natural History)

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Posted on 19/01/2011, in Collections and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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