Pottery in Public
Saturday 18th June 2005
Education Rooms, Museum of London
There are now more ways than ever for archaeological objects to reach the widest possible audience. There have always been museum displays, and research collections, but recent initiatives and centrally-driven grant-aided strategies have placed great emphasis on providing access, and creating a learning resource. Curators have responded, and the creation of museum web-sites is one new development, alongside more established practices of exhibition, collection management and documentation - and medieval pottery has figured in all of these. We all recognise the great impact of television in archaeology, and here too our discipline has at times been well represented.
This one-day conference is therefore a timely, if not long overdue, examination of how the study of medieval pottery has been portrayed to various audiences in recent times, and indeed how the pots themselves have been, and could be, represented and understood - there are issues of research and interpretation here as well as presentation. This is a theme that should underpin everything we are trying to achieve in our discipline.
The following papers were presented:
Pottery in Public, Duncan H Brown
'The efforts of such labour should not be forgotten' - collecting, museums and enjoyment, David Dawson
Recent work on the Museum of London Ceramic and Glass Collection and archaeological archive, Jacqui Pearce
Pottery and the Public: the National Reference Collection at the British Museum, Beverley Nenk
Exhibition, David Gaimster
Potweb - an update, Carole Wheeler
www.worcestershireceramics.org: the suck it and see approach to on-line resources, Victoria Bryant
Virtual pottery and illumination, Alan Chalmers
"How can they tell that from one little bit of pot?": Time Team and Medieval Pottery, Paul Blinkhorn